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October 14, 2010

Little update

Well my little girl is keeping me busy-crawling at six months! I'm moving house and my husbands way too busy at work. Plus my meditation teacher Baba ji is visiting Perth. My daughter loved sitting on his lap and tugging his beard!

I wish I had time to write cause I am learning so much that I would love to share with you all but where does the day go??? A few things I love:
  • Elimination Communication (also known as infant toilet training)
Visit Charndra's great website to learn more. We're only using three cloth nappies a day now and my clever, clever girl can sit up on the potty all by herself.

  • Baby led weaning
There's a book but personally I found this blog much more inspiring. Watching my seven month old eat her dahl and rice with her own hands is brilliant. I don't have to prepare special food-she just eats what I eat- and my hands are free to eat my own food! I love it. Very messy but very fun. If you take it on I'd recommend a shower curtain on the floor and a stack of long sleeved bibs from IKEA.

  • Aware Parenting
After a traumatic birth experience and very difficult and prolonged recovery our little family needed some serious emotional rejuvenation. We chose something called Aware parenting which is basically a form of attachment parenting, but with the addition of something called release crying. Release crying is supposed to help babies release stress and tension and we have seen such a difference in our little darling since doing it. She is more relaxed and confident, she sleeps better, she is less clingy and sensitive. We feel we have really benefited from it. Read the book Aware Baby or google it, there's lots of good websites out there. We had a few sessions with psychologist called the baby calmer to get us started.

Finally some pics of our darling.

March 23, 2010

Harriet's arrival

Phew! It's been a big week for us, but we finally have a moment to announce the arrival of our little girl, Harriet Tully Jones Smith on Monday 15th March at 1.09am. She was 7 pounds 2 ounces and 55 cm long.

It was a very, very fast and easy birth. The homebirth midwife only arrived ten minutes before I was pushing. While in the birth pool the baby descended and I reached down and felt what should have been her head and it was soft. We realised it was a bum! Marilyn (our midwife) called the ambulance just in case (as it is protocol not to birth breech babies at home) and I ended up pushing her out just minutes after arriving at the hospital.

The whole labour, including mild contractions in the restaurant to the birth of the placenta was only 6 hours, the midwives only counted it as 3.5 hours! Harriet is perfect and the birth was unassisted.

About an hour later however I began to bleed alot. I lost 2.2 litres of blood which is a very frightening thing. I needed surgery to stop the bleeding and two blood tranfusions. I am recovering surprisingly quickly, and gathering strength every day.

I feel very happy that I got the best of both worlds. If I'd planned a hospital birth then Harriet would have been almost definitely born by ceasarian, as vaginal breeches are rarely attempted these days, mainly due to a lack of experienced doctors. But the care I recieved for my bleeding was excellent and I am incredibly grateful to the hospital and modern medicine. If I had not had access to a hospital I'm not sure I would have survived, and even if I were at a smaller, less specialised hospital I may have ended up with a hysterectomy.

As it is I had a beautiful, natural, drug free birth, followed by the best medical care on offer. I feel very fortunate, although it was more dramatic than I had hoped!

You can see for yourself how beautiful she is! Her head wasn't squashed like head first bubs, though her bottom is a bit bruised and pointy! We're enjoying falling in love with her and spending those first precious weeks together drenched in Newborn Baby Smell, but having to fight off family for cuddles.

March 10, 2010

39 - Due Dates

Some people talk about due dates these days as though they were set in stone. Indeed for many people they are. They book in for an induction or a ceasarian at a convenient time for themselves and for the hospital and can plan for the exact moment their little one arrives.

I'm on the other end of the spectrum. A home birth is considered safe between 37 and 43 weeks provided there are no other complications. I'm now sitting at 39 weeks and willing my baby to come. I really don't want to go over, I was born three weeks late and caused no end of trouble to my poor mother! After 41 weeks the hospital like to see pregnant women to observe the baby and the placenta every couple of days, and as long as all is well and healthy then I can just wait as long as I am comfortable.

Who you choose as your primary carer (ie midwife or obstetrician) largely indicates when it is acceptable for your baby to arrive, but the other strange thing is how due dates are actually calculated. It is assumed by those little wheels they use that every woman has a 28 day cycle and ovulates on day 14. Any woman reading this is probably laughing out loud, My cycle for example is 23 days and I ovulate on day 8. How do I know? I can feel it, a little twinge in one ovary, alternating sides around the 8th day after my period. But most women can't tell when they are ovulating so they have to make some assumptions. So if ovulate 6 days earlier than most women then it follows that my baby will be due 6 days earlier. This works in my favour because I can tell everyone the later due date and hope that the baby comes by then. Most first babies are born about one week late, which puts me back to the later date.

To prepare my body and my baby for birth I have been doing a few different things. None of these are directly to induce labour, more just to encourage things in the right direction.
  • Many herbal teas ncourage contractions. Choose what feels appropriate for your dosha. I found raspberry leaf too astringent, and have preferred dandelion made into chai, or tea made from two parts fennel and one part fennugreek, brewed fairly weak, about 1 tspn to 500 mls water.
  • Walking, squatting, lunging, belly dancing, hula hooping and cat and cow all help to open the pelvis and encourage baby to head South.
  • Talking to baby, telling stories about how wonderful the world is and how much love is here waiting, as well as visualing the birth positively surely can't do any harm at all!
If your caregiver wants to induce your labour find out if their is a good reason. Just being late is not reason enough, because it could be that your due date is inaccurate to begin with.

39 weeks - my birth plan

I've been leaving this for last because I keep changing my plan as I learn more. Some people like planning, some don't. I love it. I love plans and lists because they help me to clear my mind, make decisions and have positive expectations of the world. I don't expect everything to go to plan, I don't think I'm in control and I am happy to accept whatever comes my way. But I always think it's worth asking for what I want and putting in efforts, without being to attached to the outcome.

My latest favourite preparation for birth technique comes from the book Birthing from Within. The author doesn't believe in birth plans as such, but she really encourages pregnant women to positively picture birth. (which I think is just a matter of semantics, cause it all depends on how you define a birth plan.) Many women in our culture can't actually picture birth, and go straight for the ending, the happy family snapshot.

But here are the four images I use to picture my own birth:
  • Walking along the swan river with my sister and two of my oldest girl friends, picking some flowers to decorate the birthing room with. Being infused with their girl power, walking to get the contractions going, and being in nature, by the water in one of my favourite places in the world.
  • At home, sitting on the fit ball at the my kitchen table, blanching and peeling almonds. I'm making a birthday cake for my baby, and stop every now and then to rest my head on the table as the contractions get more intense.
  • Kneeling on the floor in the birthing room resting over the fit ball. The contractions are very powerful know and I need to go inside myself to get through the next stage. It's dark and cave like.
  • Finally the actaul birth. I am squatting in the warm water pushing my baby out. My husband is in the water behind me. He catches our baby and pushes it through my legs, I pull our baby up to my breast and lean back on my husband, where we cuddle and gaze at each other in love and amazement.
I'll post my more practical birth plan shortly...

March 05, 2010

38 weeks: positive thinking

As my babies birth day approaches I feel very open and vulnerable and exposed. I feel like every little comment that people make has a disproportionately strong affect on me. Like I saw a trashy magazine headline about a celebrities 2 day pre-labour ending in a ceasarian, and I had a friend comment that home birth for first time mums was a bad idea, and one man started telling me about all the doom and gloom in the world and questioning whether I should be bringing another child into such a hopeless world...

It's so surprising to me that people can behave so unhelpfully, but humans love drama, we are addicted to it. That's why you never see natural, normal, healthy birth on prime time television. It's not as interesting as wailing sirens, emergencies and life saving surgery.

I feel that giving birth requires me to totally open up my body to the universe. I need to be exposed and vulnerable. I need to let go and stop thinking with my head and let nature take it's course.

Anyway, all of this requires some really positive thoughts, and here are some concepts which make me look forward to the birth being a positive experience:
  • Voltaire said "The role of the doctor is to distract the patient while Nature is curing the disease." Whilst I don't consider birth an illness the idea of distracting my head whilst my body gets on with it is very appealing.
  • I Ching says "Rain, after all is only rain; it is not bad weather. So also, pain is only pain; unless we resist it, then it becomes torment." It's like a birth story I read where the woman was totally calm, and she said she was still in pain, except the pain didn't "hurt". It was just pain with a purpose.
  • There are 270,000 babies born in the world every day! I like the feeling that I am not alone. I like knowing that most of those women are doing it safely at home without drugs and intervention. Talk about girl power! If they can do it, so can I.
  • I will gratefully accept the birth I am given. It's not all about control, it's about positive thinking.
  • A quote form the book Birthing from Within: "Labour is hard work, it hurts and I can do it." Very practical.
  • Ina May, my birth hero, relates a birth story where the woman's mantra is "I'm gonna get huge." I love this cause it makes me laugh, and reminds of what Ina May calls the forgotten powers of the vagina.

March 02, 2010

Home birth

I get mixed reactions when I tell people I am having my baby at home. People have experienced homebirth are really thrilled for me, and people who are ignorant or misinformed can be quite dismissive. I was a planned homebirth and many of my friends had their babies at home too. For me it just felt like the normal thing to do.

Of course the safety of my baby is my highest priority, so I did research home births before going ahead. Many studies the world over prove that home birth is as safe as hospital births for low risk women who birth full term babies with experienced and trained midwives within a half hour drive of a back up hospital. My pregnancy is low risk, my baby is now full term, my midwife has 5 years education and 15 years experience and one of the best maternity hospitals in Asutralia is about a ten minute drive away. So the answer is simple.

Unfortunately the personal becomes political and what felt like a very natural decision to me happens to have come at a turbulent time for home birth in Australia. New legislation will make it illegal for an independant home birth midwife to practise after June this year. The new laws state that midwives must practise under hospital based obstetricians in order to be covered by their insurance, but obstetricians do not support home birth so the midwives can no longer practise. No insurance is available directly to these midwives. If you ask me it's all about control and money and fear of litigation, but let's not get into that. The fact is home birth is safe under the right conditions, and the new legislation is expanding on the culture of fear that already surrounds birth.

Fortunately I am birthing on a government home birth program which will not be affected by the new legislation, but this is not available in all states Australia.

If you read any articles or studies about home birth please use your best media analysis skills. Studies that prove home birth is dangerous usually include in their statistics one or more of the following:
  • unplanned home births
  • preterm babies born at home
  • birth of twins or more
  • unassisted births at home (also known as free birth)
  • breech babies
  • babies known to have died in utero, but the mother, in order to grieve and let go, would like to labour and birth at home anyway
One study I read even included miscarriage amongst it's home birth statistics!

Today we can have the best of both worlds, a peaceful and private birth at home, with the best technology on offer in nearby hospitals for the 8% of women who need intervention. I want to share this with you because I strongly believe in every womans right to birth in a place where she is safe, comfortable and supported. For many women that is in a hospital. For me it is at home.

February 20, 2010

Final month of pregnancy

Basically by now you have a minature human inside you, all it will do in the last month is grow good and fat. During this time expectant mothers are advised to reduce fat, salt and water from their diet.

Traditionally pregnant women move to the birthing house during the last month of their pregnancy, and remain there until the baby is six weeks old. During this time the mother and baby and both mothered, with twice-daily oil massages and specially prepared foods. This is a time of re-birth for the mother, and great physical, spiritual and emotional healing

Fenugreek and pippali are good for stimulating the uterus so you may want to gradually add these into you diet leading up to the baby's due date. Clary sage, dandelion root and raspberry leaf are all easily available herbs for gently preparing the body for labour.

Sex is fun way to stimulate labour, but don't over do it. During the last month the baby is gathering ojas from you, and sex uses a lot of ojas.

Rice porridge is an excellent light and nourishing food for the last month or two of pregnancy, as well as being the first food a mother should have after the baby is born. Cook rice in milk with a little ginger and cardamom and serve warm and soupy with some jaggary.

February 17, 2010

Week 36 - Post-natal plan

If you've ever had a baby you've probably heard of a birth plan, even if you chose not to write one, however most people have never heard of a post-natal plan. In our culture we wouldn't even know why one is needed. With breastfeeding rates so low and post-natal depression rates so high it seems obvious that we need to provide new mothers with extra support during those early months.

I study Ayurvedic post-natal care for mothers with Ysha Oakes. She has 16 years experience in this highly specialised and valuable field, and has a wonderful website called Sacred Window which I highly suggest you visit. You may like to read through the free articles or even sign up for some distance study.

I'll write more about my post-natal experiences, care and learnings after my baby is born, but for now I want to emphasise the importance of considering your post-natal needs before your baby is born, because chances are you won't have a spare second to think about your needs afterwards if your support mechanisms aren't already in place.

Here are some things you may want to include in your post-natal plan:

Phone numbers

Make a list of phone numbers of people who can support you. I suggest you have ready:
  1. 24 hour breastfeeding helpline (1800 686 2 686 in Australia)
  2. Lactation consultant for one on one support if needed (you'll need someone local, and don't just depend on your hospital, they sometimes aren't that well qualified)
  3. 24 hour health advice helpline (1800 022 222 in Australia)
  4. Three like-minded friends who have had babies within the last year
  5. Professional supports (maybe your midwife, obstetrician, doula, pediatrician or childbirth educator)
  6. Depression helpline (1300 22 4636 in Australia)
  7. Phone numbers of friends who have offered to be part of your village

We seem to have forgotten that it takes a village to raise a child and even mum's often think they should be able to do it on their own. If you look at childbirth anthropologically most traditional cultures offer new mothers a 'sacred window' for healing and bonding and becoming a mother. This time is usually about 4-6 weeks, but may be longer after a difficult birth or shorter if poverty requires.

During this 4-6 weeks the new mother should be excused from cooking, cleaning and shopping, so she can focus all her energy on her own rejuvenation and caring for her baby. A stressed, exhausted or unhappy mother can't be the best for her baby.

Before your baby is born is the time get to know your neighbours, and have a baby shower where friends give you meal vouchers, shopping vouchers or cleaning vouchers instead of more and more baby clothes. If you have older children try and arrange a village for them too. Someone to bring them a gift or take them to the park or help you out at difficult times of day like getting them to school or into the bath.


It often helps to set some guidelines about visitors before they turn up on your door step expecting your hospitality. Choose a time of day when you would most like to see people and set up "visiting hours" like a hospital. Some mothers like company during the day so they don't get lonely when their partners are at work, others prefer visitors when their partner is home so there is less pressure on the mother to play good host.

It often helps if mums make it clear they are resting by wearing pyjama's even when visitors come. I have bought and been given a few lovely sets of pyjama's to wear during my first two weeks after the baby is born. That way I immediately set up my visitors with realistic expectations of my ability or willingness to look after them. Hopefully visitors will be more inclined to make the tea or bring a casserole without having to be directly asked. We've got to put an end to this super woman image and admit that our babies would be much better off if us mums accept a bit more support.


Post-natal is all about CHANGES. It's take nine months for your uterus to grow a baby, then just 6 weeks to return to it's original size. Mothers lose litres of blood and fluid and kilo's of baby giving birth. Not to mention the emotional, spiritual and mental changes that accompany becoming a family.

What most mums really enjoy now is a bit of routine. Try to have regular meal times, go to bed and get up at reasonable times (even if you nap during the day) and allocate a time so that you can shower/brush teeth/get dressed/put contact lenses in... at the same time every day. Some families really enjoy it when dad gets up early to have a long bath with the baby before work so that mum has time to attend to her own basic needs.

Dietary needs

See Ysha's website for full details on an Ayurvedic post-natal diet, but here are the basics. Food should be warm, soupy and easy to digest. Naturally sweet foods are most important for the first few days like rice pudding, jaggary, porridge and dates. As appetite dictates start having more soups building up to stews and when really hunry introduce more solids like unleavened breads, blanched almonds and dhal. Key spices include warm sweet spices like fennel, fennugreek, cardomom, cinnamon and cloves. Ghee and well cooked garlic are a very important part of your staple diet - eat them every day. Ayurveda considers warm, spiced, organic, unhomogonised milk to be an ideal food for new mothers.

Social needs

I will be staying at home with my baby for a minimum of two weeks after the birth. If I feel the baby or I need more time or the weather is bad I will extend that time. After six weeks most new mums are ready to get out and about a bit more, but often don't know where to start, as most of the social things that we do before we have babies are no longer relevant or possible in our culture. Don't wait until you feel lonely or isolated to set up social networks, do it before the baby is born:
  • Ring your local government, PCYC, library or community centre and ask them what services they offer for parents of young children
  • Find out about local playgroups and mums groups and attend them whilst you are pregnant to meet a few other mums
  • Consider post-natal exercise classes like yoga, physio or hydro-therapy, particularly ones that let you bring your baby
  • Cinema's often have cry baby sessions during the day to take baby's to and some cafe's seem to attract new mothers
This is such an important and neglected area of women's health that I feel I could write many pages more. I'll write more over time, but this is enough for a start. For more specific Ayurveda information I can't rave about Sacred Window enough, please visit this website if you or someone you love is expecting a baby!

February 11, 2010

Meditation during pregnancy

Meditation is a wonderful practice during pregnancy. Meditation can help ease the hormone induced anxiety of pregnancy, it's great practice for managing labour pain and good for your physical health too. And if it's good for mum it's good for baby.

I've practiced meditation for many years, I aim to do one hour every morning. In reality an hour is a struggle for me, and I often miss one or two days a week. But I figure as long as my practice is regular and I put in effort then I will get better over time.

I practice a technique called Dhyana meditation, as taught by Shivarudra Balayogi. He says
Sit comfortably with the back and neck straight,
Close your eyes.
Concentrate the mind and sight in between eyebrows.
Keep watching there by focusing the attention.
Do not repeat any mantra or name. Do not imagine anything.
Do not open your eyes until the duration of meditation is over.
For more on this technique visit this website. There are many, many techniques and if you are interested in starting meditation experiment until you find one that suits you. This style of meditation is about thoughtless awareness, I also do some guided relaxations in my pre-natal yoga class which involve sending love to the baby and thanks to the world for support and lovely things like that. These are only for five or ten minutes at a time.

So back to pregnancy. Before I was pregnant I had heard that being pregnant is very grounding and that people find meditation easier during pregnancy. Prior to my pregnancy was one of the easiest and most regular periods of meditation I've been able to do. But since then it's been a very different story!

Between nausea, constant hunger and sleepiness I've found early mornings on an empty stomach difficult, which is the time of day I usually meditate. I gave up meditation completely for a few weeks when morning sickness was at it's peak, and have since found mornings a bit easier if I have some milk or fruit or some other simple food before sitting.

Then actually sitting has been difficult too. My back and hips ache, and I've found sitting in my regular half lotus far too much work for my stomach muscles. There was a stage where the only position I could stay still in for long periods was on my back supported on two bolsters, like this. This is a lovely stretch during pregnancy anyway as it opens the lungs, ribs and shoulders. Now I'm too big to lie on my back at all, no matter how well supported! These days I'm comfortable sitting in half lotus with my back against the wall, which is great.

And there's my mind. Anxious, hormone fueled,'s really hard to keep it from wandering. When I finally get comfy the baby gets the hiccoughs or decides to have a kicking frenzy against my ribs, so really, I can't win.

So in short, I feel meditation has really been very beneficial to my pregnancy, but it certainly hasn't been easy. If you are struggling with meditation don't worry, you are not alone. It's called practicing for a reason, and you'll probably find that even the most seasoned meditators have to put in effort. We have this idea in the west that some people can just close their eyes and enter heightened states of awareness. But for most of us it's about dedication, discipline and patience, as my guru says. And like pregnancy, birth and parenting, it really is worth it!

February 03, 2010

34 weeks - Count down begins

I've finished work which is wonderful! I'm keeping active with yoga, swimming and walking, as well as all the home improvements and general sorting and cleaning I'm doing whilst in nesting mode. I have birth preparation classes to go to, books to read and baby stuff to buy. I thought I might get bored but now I'm not even sure six weeks will be long enough!

I'm making an effort to do self massage with dhawantharam oil, drink raspberry leaf tea and do perenial massage. I have weekly pre-natal check ups with my midwife and the good news is the baby is head down and engaged. The surprising news is the baby is big, even though I am small, but I always suspected that I could grow a big baby!

We have the birth pool, but I'm still gathering enough old sheets and towels to contain the mess of a home birth. We have a wonderful rocking chair (after searching for months IKEA has done it again!) but are still searching for a light weight stroller. We've got cloth nappies and I figure that a newborn really only needs nappies and a couple of boobs, so really we're set.

I've got a few birth videos to watch with my friends and family who will support me through the birth, and my birth plan is pretty much ready for action.

So now it's time for rest, exercise, good food and positive thoughts. And spending some time with my darling husband whilst we are still only two.

If you read nothing else...

READ THIS BOOK. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth should be read and re-read by every pregnant women and her support people. It contains such ancient and subtle wisdom on the process of giving birth. What sometimes sounds a bit hippy and airy fairy is backed up by solid scientific evidence.

Ina May has amongst the best maternal and infant outcomes in the world, with the lowest rates of intervention. She has learned through observing childbirth in a natural environment without interference how this miracle of nature actually works, and why it goes wrong so often in our modern culture.

She has a lovely website, but seriously, buy this book and lend to every pregnant woman you know!

February 01, 2010

A-Z of cloth nappies

Cloth nappies, or diapers, have been a big area of research during my pregnancy. I went to a baby expo which was horrible (think fast food and Bob the Builder) but had a great range of cloth nappies being demonstrated so I could see them all side by side. It's hard to work out what's going on, especially from websites, so here's my little guide.

You've basically got the following choices, and loads of variation in between.

Flat squares

Old fashioned flat square nappies are what our grandparents probably used. You need something to hold them in place, like safety pins, snappi fasteners or a elastic band around the waist. You also need to buy pilchers, or waterproof covers. This is the cheapest nappy option out, but you have to learn to fold them properly or they leak.


Prefolds are still similiar to the old system in that you have nappy inserts and waterproof covers. They are fitted covers like disposables, but flat square inserts like old fashioned nappies. The advantage is that you don't need to learn any folding techniques and you don't need to use pins or other fasteners.

All in ones

All in ones are the most like disposables because the nappy lining and waterproof cover are all sewn in together. This means they are the easiest to put on the baby. The disadvantage is that you have to change the whole nappy each time, unlike pre-folds or squares where you usually only change the nappy or liner and use the pilcher or cover all day. All in ones also take the longest to dry as you can't unfold them out flat. They are the most expensive option (other than disposables) becuase you need to buy a lot more of them.

One size fits all or sized nappies

Of course you don't need to buy as many nappies if they are one size fits all, but you do risk leakage on newborns and bigger toddlers. You have to buy more sized nappies, but they will fit better.

So that's the pro's and cons, and here's my choice:

Real Nappies

This is a sized, pre fold system invented by a mother in New Zealand. The website, as usual is totally confusing, but read through the topics under Advice to get the gist of it.

The reasons I chose this system is because the folding is very simple and their are videos on the website if you need help. The nappies are very cheap ($3.50 each) and the covers are a reasonable price at $15. The nappies are square so they will dry quickly.

I also bought a pack of flat square nappies, I'll use these round the house without covers, and generally for mopping up spills and "catching possets" and for all the other messes that baby's make.

Finally (I'll write a whole post on this later cause I'm obsessed) I want to practice EC with my baby. Which is basically a fancy modern name for what humans have been doing for years, offering their babies the use of the toilet instead of letting them sit in wet nappies. Check out this great website for more info. And in my opinion prefolds will work best with EC.

January 19, 2010

Make your own baby wipes

It's so easy! It's cheap and involves less chemicals, processing and packaging and is therefore gentler on baby's bum and on the earth. I'm hooked. Google it and you'll find plenty of variations on the theme, here's what works for me.

What you need:
1 roll of kitchen towel (recycled paper if they exist)
2 plastic containers with lids (big enough to fit half a roll of kitchen wipes, mine are 1.25 litres)
3 cups water
2 Tbs baby and earth friendly soap ( I use envirocare body and hair cleanser, which is cheap, locally made, available online and can be used as shampoo and soap for the whole family)
4 Tbsp oil (I use sesame, but for nappy rash I'd switch to coconut)
4 drops of lavender oil (for it's antibacterial qualities)
What to do:
  1. Cut the paper towel in half with a knifes (not a serated knife as this will leave jaggedy edges) and remove the cardboard roll inside.
  2. Boil and cool the water and then mix with soap and oils.
  3. Put half the kitchen towel in each container and cover with half the liquid each.
  4. Close the lids tightly and leave on container of wipes at your change station and the other in the fridge for later.
You can pull a few wipes off the roll and store them in a small snap lock bag to take them in your nappy bag with you.

My main concern at the moment is that I can't find recycled paper kitchen towels, but I'll keep looking. One alternative if your really keen to be green is the keep the solution in a spray bottle and spray it onto reusable cloth wipes.

January 05, 2010

Third trimester

I missed a post over the silly season. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I had a lovely time in Melbourne with my husbands family.

Week 30 and I've finally cracked the 60 kg mark. Neither my midwife nor my Ayurvedic doctor are worried about my low weight. I am healthy and strong and energetic and my rate of gain is steady. Low weight in pregnancy only seems to be a problem if you are malnutritioned or if you suddenly stop putting on weight.

I had a few sleepless nights due to intense calf cramps and hip ache. I woke D up crying out in pain. I spent the next day doing down dog at every spare opportunity and much as it hurt at the time it really, really helps me get through the night. Can't recommend it highly enough.

My milestone of this week is colostrum. I woke up D in the night (again poor thing!) cause I was so excited. My colostrum actually let down and squirted on the bed. Only a few drops, but it makes me feel like a woman, like a mother. I had let down for a few nights in a row and now it's calmed down again, so I think my body must have just been doing a test run.

I really am feeling great, I suspect that for thin women (Vata) early pregnancy is the hardest bit, where as bigger women (Kapha) struggle later on. But maybe I am speaking too soon!