One of the Birth Suites at Origin Family-Centred Maternity Hospital, where water births will be allowed again from Monday 22 October.
NOT THERE YET
... As News24 reports, Cape Town's dams have just managed to squeeze past the 'danger zone'. The danger zone is when the dams are below 65% at the end of the rainy season - and the dams are now just a smidgeon past this at 65.9%. The City of Cape Town is in talks with the national Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) about easing up on the severe water restrictions. Origin will continue with its policy of no water births until the City of Cape Town announces that the national DWS has allowed the level of restrictions to be lifted. With the continuing rains in the Cape we are hoping that this will be sooner rather than later, and shall keep you all informed!
Researchers from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden have carried out the first ever review of why caesarean sections (CSs) are carried out.* They were concerned that around a quarter of women in the United Kingdom and a third of those in Ireland give birth by CS, saying: “Caesarean section (CS) rates have risen substantially over the past few decades, often without clear rationale and limited additional maternal or neonatal benefits,” and “without medically justifiable reasons”.
Sydney Grové, General Manager of Origin Family-Centred Maternity Hospital in Panorama, Cape Town (who is also a male midwife and has assisted at the births of over 24 000 babies) says this study did not come a moment too soon. “In South Africa the CS rate is lower in the government hospitals than in the private sector. A recent official review put the rate at 65%, but this has gone up to 85-90% in some private hospitals, and even 100% in some individual hospitals at particular times of the year. The whole drive is to decrease the CS rate, and the World Health Organization puts the rate to aim for at 15-20%.
“I think the goal in South Africa should be not more than 25-30%. For example, according to our statistics at Origin Family-Centred Maternity Hospital, over the 12-month period from 1 March 2017 until the end of February 2018 our CS rate was 35.8%. This includes planned and unplanned or emergency CSs and those stemming from clients aiming for a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) where it ended up as a CS. The gynaecologists whom we partner with deal with more high-risk cases, which also raises this percentage. Since March our rate has been around 25%.”
The review of doctors’ perceptions of factors that influence their decision to perform a CS was published in PLoS One and assessed responses from 7785 obstetricians and 1197 midwives from 20 countries. It found that nearly 70% of doctors who deliver babies by CS may do so because they are afraid of being sued. As well as fear of litigation, doctors also said they choose CS to avoid damage to the woman's body or because there are not enough staff to allow a vaginal birth. They may also prefer a CS because it is more 'convenient' and 'organised', and senior medics are more likely to be in favour of the procedure. This is despite evidence that natural vaginal births are safer and less likely to have complications.
Adds Sydney: “There is evidence that if a woman is looked after in labour and prepared by a trained and registered midwife then you are looking at a lower CS rate. This is not because we are better than doctors but because of the different approach and peacefulness around it. In terms of the increasing CS rate, what is especially worrying is that although CS is a common procedure carried out all over the world, I don’t think people are given all of the information and options so that they can make an informed decision.
“Also, we can’t see the CS rate in isolation. The biggest issue that we have, in South Africa in particular, is that the two professions have become a threat to each other instead of working together. We need to sit around a table and hold hands and work in synergy, respecting one another and our different expertise and skills in the best interests of each client.
“Owing to a watering down of nursing training in the last few decades, doctors may find it difficult to trust the midwives in the labour wards to call them in time if there is an emergency. Coupled with the fact that incidences of litigation have increased (which may or may not be opportunistic), many of the doctors – and I have sympathy for them – practice what we call defensive medicine, where they would rather prematurely take the decision to cut. They will do this rather than allow the women to have a trial of labour, or don’t let them labour for long enough while it is still safe
“Decision-making becomes very challenging for doctors if they suddenly need to make a decision on a patient in the middle of the night, perhaps working with a particular staff member or limited staff that they do not trust. So quicker procedures and invasive procedures become the order of the day – and that is why we are where we are. We need more nursing staff and in particular midwives to be cultivated who work at institutions where they have developed ownership for what they do.
“We are hoping that nursing training in South Africa will revert to what it used to be, as from next year (pending a final decision by the SA Nursing Council). Midwives will then require a 4-year university degree or diploma in general nursing science in order to qualify as a nurse, and then a further 2-year postgraduate course to become a midwife. Nurses and midwives will soon (by September 2019) also need to complete Continuing Professional Development points – all of which will push up standards of midwives, leading to this being a profession that is fully recognised, accepted and respected by other professionals in the medical environment.”
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*See the full study at Panda S, Begley C, Daly D (2018) Clinicians’ views of factors influencing decisionmaking for caesarean section: A systematic review and metasynthesis of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods studies. PLoS ONE 13(7): e0200941. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0200941
The International Day of the Midwife (IDM) was first launched by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) in 1992, and annually May 5th is the internationally recognised day for highlighting the work of midwives across the world. Eighty two per cent of babies born in the Western Cape are birthed with the assistance of midwives.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Midwives leading the way with quality care’. This highlights the vital role that midwives play not only in ensuring that women and their newborns navigate pregnancy and childbirth safely, but also that they receive respectful and well-resourced maternity care that can set them up for a lifetime of good health and well-being.
Skilled midwives are the difference between life and death for hundreds of thousands of women and infants every year. Yet there are massive midwife shortages around the world – with South Africa being no exception.
In terms of ‘leading the way with quality care’, a whole new training system for midwives is set to be put in motion in South Africa from January 2019. Sydney Grové, General Manager of Origin Family-Centred Maternity Hospital, who is a seasoned accoucheur (male midwife) and has attended at over 24 000 births, explains.
“From 1988 the South African Council of Nurses (SANC) decided on an integrated course of training, where trainee nurses all studied psychiatric, community health and midwifery nursing science for a period of 4 years. They would then complete a postgraduate one-year full-time course studying and practising midwifery as nursing sisters in order to become a midwife.
“Now, from 2019 trainees will complete their first 4 years of study in general nursing science (excluding psychiatric, community health and midwifery nursing science) to become registered nurses. After that they will have to complete another two years of study – in other words 6 years in all, or the same as it takes to become a doctor – in order to become a midwife. This will be a far more comprehensive course which will better prepare midwives to work in low-risk or even high-risk areas in collaboration with doctors, to be able to identify, diagnose and treat conditions in the obstetric model within their scope of practice.”
He adds: “The SANC is also in the process of developing a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) system in order to ensure that nurse practitioners stay up to date with the required competencies for their specific areas of practice. This is seen as a mechanism for practitioners to pursue and achieve professional growth throughout their careers, in order to benefit the people of South Africa. It is proposed that each midwife will have to accrue a minimum of 15 CPD points over a 12-month period in order to remain in practice, as is the case in developed countries like the United Kingdom, USA and Canada.
“I applaud these developments, which can do nothing but raise the standard of midwifery in South Africa. Midwives will become more and more important in the field of obstetrics in South Africa, because the obstetric litigation that has started to take off in South Africa – as it has around the world – has put doctors and nurses under immense pressure, which has diverted them to carry out ‘defensive nursing’, which takes them away from a primary focus on their clients.
“Once the CPD system is in place, Origin Family-Centred Maternity Hospital and the Grove De Beer Midwife Practice will play a preliminary role in providing training and mentoring in order to assist in uplifting the standards of midwife care in South Africa.
“The universal efforts of implementing a well-educated midwifery workforce in all the functioning health systems, by availing proper equipment and other supplies, has been estimated to prevent up to 60% of the maternal and child death rate throughout the world.”
We laud the efforts of Nathan Strydom's parents (see here) in very effectively raising awareness of the dangers of group B strep infection. Henny de Beer, Senior Partner In the Grove de Beer Midwife Practice operating at Origin Family-Centred Maternity Hospital spells out how we recommend that all of our clients do this test, at 36 weeks: "It involves taking a swab and costs less than R100. Many times women question the necessity of us then administering antibiotics during pregnancy. Nathan's story serves as a sad example as to why we recommend this intervention."
It is important that people realise that just like any other hospital where vaccinations are done for babies, we also do them at Origin Family-Centred Maternity Hospital. And just like any other procedure, parents must give consent for their babies to be vaccinated. If parents choose not to have their child vaccinated, there is nothing we can do about it. However, at Origin we do accentuate the need for vaccination as a primary prevention for all diseases, particularly in childhood.
Education on the importance of vaccination is incorporated in all the care that we provide, in the both the antenatal and the postnatal period up to 6 weeks. We hold a vaccination clinic offered by the Grove De Beer Midwife Practice on every other Wednesday morning from 10 till 12, at the same time as we hold our birth registration sessions with the Department of Home Affairs, on site at Origin. If that day is not suitable for parents we refer them to other vaccination clinics in the surrounding areas, whether government or private hospitals, so that they do not feel that they have missed out on the opportunity to vaccinate their baby.
In terms of myths around vaccination about how harmful or not it is for babies – you need to consider what is more important to you: the danger of contracting childhood diseases versus choosing not to vaccinate your child. Be aware that if you are taking your baby out of your home and exposing them to the outside world, whether in a restaurant or a park or anywhere else, the baby may come into contact with a person who is a carrier, and not ill themselves, or who is already sick and coughing and spitting. If your child is not vaccinated, this may place them in a compromised position.
The days before you see the confirming stripes on a home preggie test can be nerve-wracking, and the wait is excruciating! Here are 7 early signs that could be indicating that you are pregnant, from our expert Henny De Beer, Clinical Midwife Specialist at Origin Family-Centred Maternity Hospital.
Your period is late
If your period is a few days late and you rush out to get a home pregnancy test, be warned: this will give a negative result if done too soon. These tests are designed to detect the hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which is produced by the placenta when an embryo implants in the uterus. Implantation is usually about 9 days after the egg and sperm come together, but can vary from 7 to 12 days.
You have spotting
Implantation bleeding happens in less than 50% of pregnancies, but can create confusion. It is one of the major reasons why the pregnant woman’s own calculation of the due date for baby’s birth can be incorrect, especially for women that have a history of irregular periods. The bleeding occurs as a result of the fertilised egg disrupting the blood vessels in the lining of the uterus. The blood then trickles down the mother’s cervix and vagina. This blood is usually not as red as menstrual blood, but rather more pink or brown and is much lighter in quantity than a regular period.
Your boobs are sensitive
While some women experience this every month as part of their normal menstrual cycle, breast tenderness can be a sign that there is a baby on board. The increase in oestrogen and progesterone cause this tenderness. These hormones are working hard to increase blood supply as well as sweat glands and fatty tissue to the breasts, nipples and areola, in preparation for the very important function ahead.
You are bone tired
At around four weeks of pregnancy (when you would be expecting to experience your regular menstrual cycle) the fertilised egg implants into the lining of the uterus and starts its amazing growth process. Clearly, this takes a lot of energy!
Some things don’t taste or smell right
Scientifically it has not been established as to the cause for the heightened sensitivity to tastes and smells that many pregnant women experience. It is believed that it manifests itself as a protective mechanism so that the pregnant woman is less likely to eat or drink (or inhale) things that are detrimental to the developing embryo.
You need to pee all the time
Hormonal changes cause an increase in urine production. This is believed to be an essential part of clearing the mother’s body of waste products. In the early stages of pregnancy the uterus is still relatively small, but definitely heavier due to increased blood supply and urine volume. It is strategically putting pressure on the bladder, which is nestled between the uterus and the pubic bone.
Your moods are all over the place
The marked increase in levels of oestrogen and progesterone affect the function of neurotransmitters (the brain’s chemical messengers, like serotonin), and this causes mood changes.
If you are hoping to become pregnant soon, we wish these signs upon you! See the clinical pathway that you would follow at Origin here https://www.originmaternityhospitals.com/midwife-pracice/
GREAT NEWS FOR DISCOVERY DELTA AND SMART DSP MEMBERS!!
We are delighted to announce that as of 1 February 2018, Origin Family-Centred Maternity Hospital has been approved as a preferred maternity referral hospital on the Discovery Smart DSP and Delta hospital networks. This means that if you are a member of either of these options on Discovery, you will be covered to birth your baby at Origin! Previously on these two plans a significant co-payment had to be made: Now you will be covered at 100%. You now have access to the beautiful facilities and services that we have available for expectant families. We welcome you!
Those of you who are on the Discovery Classic and Coastal Plans are already covered at 100%.
Why not come and see what you can expect by attending our Open Day on Saturday 17 February? We will have talks, tours and great snacks and giveaways! Book your time slot to attend the Open Day here: 021 911 0650, firstname.lastname@example.org
The situation in the Western Cape is such that the Disaster Operations Centre opened on Monday 29 January 2018 and is now in full operation with preparations for Day Zero regarding water supply.
Like every other company – even though we are a hospital – we also have to adhere to the water restrictions, and therefore have to reserve all of our water for emergencies, namely sanitation and emergency surgery, including caesarean sections.
Pregnancy is in many ways one of the ultimate tests of life. It certainly stresses the limits of a woman’s endurance, and changes our understanding of parenthood and what it means to bring new life into this world. But too often, we focus on the inconveniences and aches of pregnancy, instead of enjoying the beauty of this time. This is a time to be filled with good health, motivation, contemplation, re-evaluation and just plain fun. Here are a few ways to enjoy the opportunities which pregnancy provides, so you can really bathe in this incredible time in your life:
- Take advantage of your status – never again will more people be so willing to help you! While everyone wants to be strong, say yes to offers to carry your bags or to take a seat, it will help you take it easy on your body.
- Don't let nesting overwhelm you. While there is nothing more exciting than shopping for new goodies for baby, seeing it all come together can sometimes bring stress about “are you ready for when this baby comes?”. All baby really needs is shelter, basic clothing, diapers, food and a lot of love. Be prepared – but don’t put unneeded pressure on yourself.
- Look your best so you feel your best. Invest in a couple of special maternity outfits, including some pretty lingerie. Wear flattering colours and styles. Get beauty treatments often. Feeling good about yourself helps in more ways than one and creates a soothing environment for the unborn child.
- Revel in your belly. When your baby is awake and active, feel him or her move and adjust to your body. Filming and taking photos of your moving tummy as well as your ultrasound are some of the most exciting parts of pregnancy.
- Enjoy being kneaded. Performed correctly, prenatal massage can safely relax you, ease muscle stress, swelling and back pain and improve circulation. Massage can also help a woman develop greater sensory awareness, which is very useful in labour.
- Get motivated to live a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes we'll do things for someone else that we won't do for ourselves. You have several months to develop healthy eating habits, start a moderate exercise programme, take up meditation or do whatever else makes your body a better home for both you and your baby.
- Enjoy your heightened senses. Many who have been pregnant have said that colours seemed brighter and noises were clearer, and they felt a real connectedness on an emotional level.
- Lean on your partner for help. During pregnancy the focus is on the woman, and the partner often gets left out - sometimes not knowing how to be involved. Bring your partner to your appointments, show them how to judge the size and position of the baby, and attend antenatal classes together. Let your partner pamper you, and ask for what you need, whether it's a back rub, a shoulder or a sounding board. Let your partner be your rock.
Being pregnant is a wonderful, beautiful time. Spend it enjoying every moment rather than worrying about the finer details. With support and love you can enjoy a happy, relaxed pregnancy.
Being pregnant is a joyous time in any woman’s life, from embracing the miracle of life to enjoying every small step along the way. But aside from the cravings and urges, there are still foods a pregnant woman must try to embrace to stay happy and healthy over their term.
Enjoy a Fortified Breakfast
As a pregnant mom-to-be, your needs for vitamin B stay high throughout the9-month period. Experts in the field advise that you get around 400 micrograms per day through vitamin supplements or fortified foods - an amount that many cereals have per bowl - and another 200 micrograms through foods that are naturally high in folate, such as asparagus and black-eyed peas.
Beans & Lentils
All women going through pregnancy need around 10 g extra protein per day during pregnancy, and beans and lentils are an excellent source of this nutrient. They're also high in fibre, which helps to combat constipation and other digestive issues associated with pregnancy. A cup of cooked lentils meets half of your daily folate requirement.
Not only packed with nutrients that are necessary for a healthy pregnancy - like calcium - broccoli is also rich in fibre and disease-fighting antioxidants that do wonders for both you and your unborn child. As it also contains plenty of vitamin C, this popular green vegetable will help your body absorb iron when eaten with an iron-rich food such as wholewheat pasta or brown rice. The perfect pairing for a healthy diet.
Bananas are rich in potassium and offer quick energy to fight off fatigue. Easy on your stomach and great for a pick-me-up, these are reliable sources of nutrition. Slice them up into cereal or make your own breakfast smoothie with yogurt, berries, ice, and some fresh juice.
Your daily iron needs double during pregnancy, so it's important to include plenty of iron-rich foods now. Low iron means low energy, and fatigue is not something you want to deal with while pregnant. Meat delivers a form of iron that's easily absorbed by your body and can help keep your body energised. For those of who who don’t eat meat, see below.
Many women develop aversions to meat while pregnant. Eggs are an excellent alternative protein source, since they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs at this time. There's nothing better for a healthy dinner than an omelette with lots of chopped vegetables and a bit of cheese. If the smells of cooking make you feel sick, hard-boil a batch of eggs to keep on hand in the refrigerator, perfect for breakfast on the go, or to add to a nice salad.
Cooked spinach has high levels of folate and iron, and kale and turnip greens are both good calcium sources. Increase the nutrient value of your salads by passing up traditional lettuce in favour of darker-coloured leaves.
They're packed with vitamin C and fibre, and since they're nearly 90% water they'll also help you meet your daily fluid requirements, delivering healthy sugars to the body alongside a number of vitamins.
This is a tasty, portable snack that's especially helpful when you're craving something sweet. Choose dried fruits such as apricots, cherries, and cranberries, but stay away from dried bananas, since they're processed in oil and loaded with fat.
When you have birthed your baby, he or she will be given a thorough examination by one of Origin’s panel of paediatricians. But what exactly are they looking for, and why? Drs Hennie Liebenberg and Wayne Hough are the two latest paediatricians to join Origin’s team, and they explain all.
All babies should have an examination within the first few days of life to exclude major abnormalities or, if an abnormality is diagnosed before birth, to attend to the problem as soon as possible after birth. The initial newborn examination is the first opportunity to assess the medical status of the newborn thoroughly, and may be the beginning of a long relationship between the paed, the patient and the family.
This examination includes a detailed review of the mother’s medical history, pregnancy history, and detailed report of the labour and delivery – including the gestation at which baby is born, the mother’s blood group and other relevant maternal blood results.
The weight, height and head circumference of the newborn are measured and plotted on a growth chart.
The vital signs, which include the heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation in the blood and temperature, are measured. The blood sugar level is also measured after the first feed (or earlier, depending on the situation).
A detailed head-to-toe examination is then performed to exclude major abnormalities. This examination includes:
· Head size and shape, swellings on scalp due to labour, fontanelles and sutures
· Eyes, ears and nose
· Mouth size and shape, tongue and oral cavity including hard and soft palate
· Jaw size
· Neck and spine/back
· Cardiac and respiratory examination
· Abdominal and umbilical examination
· Hips and limbs
· Genitalia and anus.
Sometimes paediatricians are asked to be present at the birth when the risk of having newborn complications is high, such as:
· After a difficult/prolonged labour or assisted delivery (including c-section)
· Where there is a known congenital abnormality which needs urgent/immediate attention
· In the case of premature labour
· Where there is maternal infection.
The paediatrician will examine the baby for the next 2 to 3 days to make sure that urine and stool are passed, to monitor the blood sugar level, monitor the weight, attend to any problems or questions the mother has, and to make sure that the newborn’s blood results are sent for analysis and followed up on. As our paediatricians say, they become their patient’s advocate, which is not only a big privilege but also a big responsibility, and something that they take great pride in.
HypnoBirthing® has been taking the birthing world by calm(!), and courses are held on a regular basis at Origin. Our midwives often say that they can tell when a baby’s parents have been on the course, because the baby is also very calm! So what is HypnoBirthing®, actually? Kim Young, who runs the courses at Origin, explains all.
The world for the pregnant woman is one filled with excitement, anticipation, anxiety and, in many instances, a very real fear or trepidation, particularly for first-timers. HypnoBirthing® is designed to alleviate the factors which cause fear, allowing you to birth your baby using your body’s natural, perfectly designed, and ultra-efficient muscles and pain relief to manage the process calmly and with minimal discomfort.
Understanding how pain occurs
At the onset of labour all the senses mentioned above become heightened, and all too often the fear responses take hold, and begin to govern the progress of the labour. The body’s response to fear is to release adrenaline, causing muscles to tighten (the flight, fight or freeze response) and blood to divert to the major survival organs (of which the uterus is not one). So the very muscles designed perfectly to birth your baby begin to work against each other and cause pain. The pain causes the body to release more adrenaline, and a cycle of pain-adrenaline-pain is triggered. Added to this, the lack of oxygen in the uterine muscles creates lactic acid, increasing the level of pain even further.
The way your body is supposed to work
In contrast, when a woman is excited and relaxed about meeting her baby, and she understands and trusts that her body is perfectly designed for the task, she releases endorphins (the body’s natural relaxant) at the onset of labour, which supplement the hormones specifically released to allow her to birth her baby easily. This powerful natural combination of endorphins – which help the muscles relax and are 200 times more potent than morphine – and hormones makes the birth an exhilarating and exciting process, rather than one filled with escalating pain and discomfort.
How HypnoBirthing® works for you
By using a range of simple self-hypnosis, breathing and relaxation techniques from around 28 weeks of pregnancy, HypnoBirthing® mums are, with regular practice, able to reach a deep state of relaxation, allowing them to switch off the part of the mind which is responsible for triggering the adrenaline release. You are in full control – the techniques produce an effect no different to the mild state of hypnosis experienced when you become engrossed in a good book, watch TV, daydream, or drive (ever got somewhere and not remembered parts of the journey?). This relaxation makes pregnancy easier and more enjoyable, and HypnoBirthed babies are on average significantly calmer and more relaxed infants.
HypnoBirthing® statistics speak for themselves
Ninety-five per cent of women are capable of having a ‘comfortable’ birth without medical intervention; 70% of women that have used HypnoBirthing® used no pain relief at all; while a further 15% used only something mild such as Entonox (gas and air).
HypnoBirthing® was founded by Marie Mongan in the late 1980s in the USA and is now taught in 34 countries worldwide. Only practitioners affiliated with the HypnoBirthing® Institute (still run by Marie Mongan) are qualified to teach the course.
How HypnoBirthing® worked for me
Our daughter Kiera was born in 2005 in hospital, after a fairly “typical” first labour – 14 hours, lots of shouting, stalling and screaming, all of which was exhausting and painful. I discovered HypnoBirthing® shortly after falling pregnant for the second time in 2007, and this time I was determined to have a more positive experience, and take control of the process. After learning the HypnoBirthing® methods, our son James was born, at home, in under 2 hours following a pain-free, drug-free labour. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life and inspired me to train as a practitioner so that I could pass on what I had learned and experienced. I trained and qualified as a practitioner in the UK in 2008, and have been lucky enough to teach many mums, who have all had wonderful birthing experiences.
I returned to Cape Town permanently at the beginning of December 2009 and founded ‘Beautifully Born’. I hope to help women in South Africa to have comfortable, natural and fulfilling birth experiences, and offer a viable alternative to the ‘standard’ labours that for so long were regarded as the only way to bring children into the world.
For more details on HypnoBirthing® in Cape Town or to contact Kim visit www.beautifullyborn.co.za
Look at the Calendar to see when the next course is on at Origin.
With much being said in the media around the declining numbers of obstetricians in South Africa, owing to (among others) their massive indemnity insurance, Origin Family-Centred Maternity Hospital in Panorama has gained itself two of the rarest of the rare – female obstetrician/gynaecologists (O&Gs). The two – Dr Lindi Murray and Dr Ilana Johnson – are to be Origin’s resident O&Gs, with rooms just a floor above the maternity hospital in Panorama Healthcare Centre.
Says General Manager of Origin Family-Centred Maternity Hospital, Sydney Grové: “I am delighted to announce that Origin is expanding its services. Our two resident O&Gs, Drs Lindi Murray and Ilana Johnson, will be practicing from 1 October 2017. They also have admission rights for high-risk patients and those who might need intensive care at a neighbouring hospital, as well as to the neonatal intensive care unit at the same hospital. Bookings are already being taken, and with female O&Gs being particularly sought after, we are sure that their diaries are going to fill up very fast.
“Drs Murray and Johnson join our two-back up O&Gs Drs Jacky Searle and Michael Kleyn in collaborating and partnering with our midwives, and all believe in Origin’s philosophy of family-centred care based on scientific principles. The Grove De Beer Midwife Practice continues to offer its services exclusively to Origin and its clients.
“Origin Family-Centred Maternity Hospital has also obtained a gynaecology licence, which means that our two resident O&Gs are able to carry out gynaecological procedures, including day cases. This will take place in partnership with Advanced Health, in the same building as Origin.
“While we remain proud to offer our special brand of midwife-led care, we are now able to offer the best of both worlds – births with either midwives or O&Gs, including elective caesarean sections for those who desire them. We of course still offer water births, for as long as water restrictions allow.
“We have also welcomed an additional two paediatricians, Drs Wayne Hough and Hennie Liebenberg, to our duty roster.
“All in all it means that we are growing, and growing fast – and that we are able to offer our clients an increased array of options and choices. Other services that we offer include on-site Registration of Births by the Department of Home Affairs (every other Wednesday 10h00-12h00), and vaccinations (from October 2017).”
Getting pregnant was the easy part! Now you need to find out how labour hormones can assist you and what happens during giving birth and beyond. Origin’s partner Elsabe Brusser of Mother Instinct – a midwife with over 34 years of experience –- runs an Antenatal Weekend Workshop at Origin. This is why you should attend:
1.Know your options
Not many couples know that they can made choices regarding the care they receive during their pregnancies, their care providers, methods of giving birth and places where they can birth their babies. Elsabe will fill you in.
2. Being boss at birth support
Trust us, the more you know, the better at it you will be. Antenatal classes will equip you fathers-to-be with tools to make you the finest birthing partner a woman could have.
3. Manageable labour
It has been proven that women who attend antenatal classes often report that their labour
wasn’t as bad or overwhelming as they thought it would be. Having a better idea of what to expect and how to work with and understand their bodies really helps.
4. Learn about babies and stuff
From nappy changes to burping techniques, these skills are very (very!) handy once back home with your newborn.
5. Understanding breastfeeding
Breastfeeding seems normal and surely something that all moms can do ... and yes they can, but some need a bit more help. You will learn all the ins and outs, whys and hows.
6. A positively enhanced experience after birth
Fact: The better prepared and less surprised you are during labour and birth, the more positive the experience will be. This also applies when birthing experiences don’t go as planned, because the classes teach you about plan B too!
What is the difference when you choose to birth with a midwife?
A midwife is a qualified and registered nurse who thereafter receives extra training from an accredited midwifery programme and is certified by the South African Nursing Council. A midwife is thus a trained medical professional with 5 to 6 (in the case of Advanced Midwives) years of full-time study behind them. A midwife is a responsible and accountable individual who works in partnership with women to provide the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the period after birth, to conduct low-risk births and to provide care for the newborn.
Origin Family-Centred Maternity Hospital prides itself on the collective expertise and wisdom of its midwives, all of whom have tertiary qualifications and many years of experience.
Midwives listen to women and provide the information that they need so they can make fully informed and educated decisions about their health care, the birth experience and post-birth actions. Some of the midwives at Origin also consult for the Grove De Beer Midwife Practice, and provide personalised care for you and your baby, including:
- Preconception care (while you’re trying to become pregnant)
- Consultations throughout pregnancy
- Labour and delivery care
- Care after birth, including breastfeeding support
- Newborn care
- Assistance and advice for family planning decisions
- Counselling on health maintenance and disease prevention
Origin’s midwives focus on your individual and unique preferences, cultural values and beliefs and personal wishes for support during your birth. Midwives at Origin do not carry out any interventions that are not supported by clear and accredited scientific evidence, and work in collaboration with affiliated gynaecologists and paediatricians who are close at hand and consulted should the need arise. Every birth is regarded as sacred and special.
The winner of the lovely Baby gift set kindly donated by the wonderful Bubs for Babes for World Breastfeeding Week had to be Rialda Plotz de Vaal for her amazing breastfeeding story, which you can read below.
Breastfeeding saved my life. Literally.
After a horrible pregnancy, with bleeding, bedrest, severe PSD and prodromal labour my baby was born prematurely on 32 weeks. It was the toughest thing I ever went through, leaving that small little baby every night in the care of other people. She was ventilated and had a feeding tube, so I started expressing milk for her. When she was 10 days old, she latched for the first time. I was so happy, because I knew breastmilk was the best for her.
But the happiness didn't last long. After everything, I began to feel down. The pregnancy was tough, not only physically, but emotionally as well, and now that the baby was born, it didn't seem to get better. Especially with a toddler in the house as well. I was sad.
They call it postpartum depression. It’s a trick of hormones and chemicals, a misery of missed connections and neurons malfunctioning. I have forgotten, simply, how to be happy. Right now, happy is like a dream I half-remembered upon waking. Some days it’s closer than others, but it remains, always, out of reach.
My deep sadness is not because of her. It’s in spite of her, and that is, perhaps, the most cutting part. I am unshakably, unutterably sad amidst the miraculous gift of a baby.
I am unhappy. But being unhappy doesn’t mean I am unhappy with my children. Even in our roughest moments, in the times I cry because I’m so stressed and broken, I am happy with them. I love them even at their most exasperating moments. And I love my baby dearly. I love her when she's crying non stop, I love her when she won't give me a chance to breath, to comb my hair or brush my teeth. I love her when she makes me feel guilty for not having time left to spend with her big brother. I love her when I wake up with her in the dark quiet of the night, again and again and again. I love her in the midst of my pain.
It became so bad that I contemplated suicide. I decided I would drink pills - close enough to the end of the day when my husband would come off work so that the children won't be alone with their dead mom for too long. I'd sterilize bottles so that he could give milk to our baby when he came home. It became so bad that I believed any stranger on the street will be capable to look after my children better than me.
And then there are these people who rhapsodize about how babies don’t keep – those people can’t see the choking sadness inside of me. They mean well, truly. But depression’s invisibility is part of its own special hell: a drowning woman looks like she’s paddling in the sunshine. And if she dare call for a life preserver, people might not help. They’ll say it’s her own fault, feeding her baby every hour. She should have given formula. They’ll say she’s overreacting, that she’s got to ride out the hormones and the baby blues.
And the worst fear: that the world mistakes depression for rejection. That if I really loved my babies, they will say, I would be happy. So, I came to the point of planning the end of my life.
And then, in all of the planning, she cried.
She needed me. She was hungry and I was the solution to her problem. I picked her up and gave her milk. And in that moment, I felt the gray air around me change. This tiny human being was solely depending on me... I have everything she needs. So, when she was nursing and laying content in my arms, I realized that this is what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to hold her and feed her and see her grow up. And most of all, I'm supposed to love her unconditionally, and breastfeeding her is the best I can currently do.
And no matter how dark it is, I have them to care for. I may feel empty, but I make sure they know love. My arms feel heavy, but I put them around them. I am exhausted, but I pick them up. I kiss them despite my pain. They are my strength. I want the best for them. The best is a mother, no matter how broken she is. And that mom is me.