Harnessing the Power of Acupuncture for Women’s Health: A Holistic Approach

In the realm of holistic healing, acupuncture stands out as a beacon of ancient wisdom, offering profound benefits for women’s health. Rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years, providing a natural and holistic approach to wellness. From menstrual irregularities to fertility challenges, menopausal symptoms, and beyond, acupuncture offers a gentle yet powerful way to restore balance and vitality to women’s bodies. Let’s delve into the myriad of benefits of acupuncture for women’s health and explore how this ancient practice can empower women on their journey to optimal well-being.

Addressing Menstrual Irregularities:

For many women, menstrual irregularities can disrupt daily life and impact overall health. Acupuncture offers a holistic solution by addressing the underlying imbalances that contribute to irregular cycles, painful periods, and other menstrual issues. By targeting specific acupuncture points related to reproductive organs and hormonal regulation, acupuncture helps restore harmony to the menstrual cycle, alleviating symptoms and promoting regularity.

Empowering Fertility and Reproductive Health:

For women struggling with fertility challenges, acupuncture offers hope and support on the journey to conception. By enhancing blood flow to the reproductive organs, regulating hormonal balance, and reducing stress levels, acupuncture can improve fertility outcomes and support natural conception or assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF. Acupuncture treatments are often tailored to each woman’s unique fertility journey, addressing individual needs and optimizing reproductive health.

Navigating the Menopausal Transition:

The menopausal transition can bring about a host of physical and emotional changes for women. From hot flashes and night sweats to mood swings and insomnia, menopausal symptoms can significantly impact quality of life. Acupuncture offers a natural alternative to hormone replacement therapy, providing relief from menopausal symptoms without the risks associated with pharmaceutical interventions. By rebalancing the body’s energy and promoting harmony within the endocrine system, acupuncture can ease menopausal symptoms and support women through this transformative phase of life.

Supporting Emotional Well-Being:

Women’s health encompasses more than just physical wellness—it also encompasses emotional and mental well-being. Acupuncture offers holistic support for emotional health, helping women manage stress, anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. By stimulating specific acupuncture points that regulate the flow of energy (Qi) throughout the body, acupuncture can promote relaxation, reduce cortisol levels, and enhance overall emotional resilience.

Enhancing Digestive Health:

Digestive issues are common among women and can have a significant impact on overall well-being. Acupuncture can be a valuable tool for addressing digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating, indigestion, and constipation. By targeting acupuncture points associated with digestive function and promoting better Qi flow within the digestive organs, acupuncture can alleviate symptoms, improve nutrient absorption, and restore balance to the gastrointestinal system.


In the journey toward optimal health and wellness, acupuncture serves as a guiding light for women seeking holistic solutions. By addressing the interconnectedness of body, mind, and spirit, acupuncture offers profound benefits for women’s health at every stage of life. From menstrual irregularities and fertility challenges to menopausal symptoms and emotional well-being, acupuncture provides a safe, natural, and empowering path to radiant health and vitality. Embrace the wisdom of acupuncture and embark on a journey to holistic wellness—one needle at a time.

Understanding Cesarean Birth: Risks, Benefits, and Informed Decision-Making

April marks Cesarean Awareness Month, a time to shed light on an often misunderstood aspect of childbirth. While cesarean births are sometimes necessary for the health and safety of both mother and baby, they also come with risks and considerations. Understanding the factors involved can empower expecting parents to make informed decisions about their birth plans.

Cesarean births, commonly known as C-sections, occur in approximately one in three births in Australia. While some are medically necessary, others result from a cascade of interventions during labor. The World Health Organization recommends cesarean sections only when medically indicated, yet research suggests an increasing trend in unnecessary procedures.

When considering a cesarean birth, it’s essential to weigh the potential benefits and risks. Benefits may include reducing the risk of harm to the mother or baby during labor and birth. In cases of extreme fear of childbirth, known as tokophobia, a planned cesarean may alleviate mental health concerns. Additionally, certain fetal abnormalities or health conditions may necessitate a timely birth to initiate life-saving treatment.

However, cesarean births also carry risks, particularly when performed without medical necessity. Mothers may experience reactions to anesthesia, longer hospital stays, extended recovery periods, blood loss requiring transfusions, surgical injuries, and infections. Long-term complications such as pelvic organ prolapse, scar tissue adhesions, and future pregnancy complications can also arise. Maternal mortality rates are higher after cesarean births compared to vaginal births.

For babies, risks include accidental injury during surgery, prematurity, respiratory issues, and long-term health implications such as Type 1 diabetes, obesity, and asthma. Separation from the mother immediately after birth can impact bonding and breastfeeding initiation.

Deciding whether to proceed with a cesarean birth should be an informed choice based on individual circumstances. It’s essential for expecting parents to understand the reasons for the proposed procedure and discuss the potential risks and benefits with their healthcare provider. Informed consent ensures that parents are actively involved in decision-making and understand the implications of their choices.

During Cesarean Awareness Month and beyond, let’s prioritize education and awareness surrounding cesarean births. By understanding the complexities involved and advocating for informed decision-making, we can support expecting parents in their journey to safe and empowered childbirth experiences.

Nourishing New Mothers: Traditional Chinese Medicine for Postpartum Depletion

Welcoming a new life into the world is a joyous occasion, but it’s also a time of immense physical and emotional changes for mothers. The postpartum period, often referred to as the “fourth trimester,” is a critical time for a mother’s recovery and well-being. However, many women experience postpartum depletion, characterised by fatigue, hormonal imbalances, and overall weakness. In this blog, we’ll explore how Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers holistic support to new mothers, addressing postpartum depletion and enhancing their overall health and vitality.

Understanding Postpartum Depletion:

Postpartum depletion is a common phenomenon among new mothers, characterised by exhaustion, mood swings, insomnia, and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms often stem from the physical demands of childbirth, hormonal fluctuations, sleep deprivation, and the stress of caring for a newborn. Left unaddressed, postpartum depletion can have long-term consequences on a mother’s health and well-being.

TCM Approach to Postpartum Care:

Traditional Chinese Medicine takes a holistic approach to postpartum care, recognising the interconnectedness of body, mind, and spirit. TCM views childbirth as a significant physiological event that depletes a woman’s Qi (vital energy) and Blood (vital substance). Therefore, the focus of postpartum care in TCM is on replenishing Qi and Blood, restoring balance, and supporting the body’s natural healing processes.

Key Components of TCM Postpartum Care:

  1. Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a cornerstone of TCM postpartum care, offering numerous benefits for new mothers. Acupuncture treatments can help regulate hormone levels, alleviate postpartum pain, promote relaxation, and enhance overall well-being. By targeting specific acupuncture points, practitioners can address common postpartum symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, and mood swings.
  2. Herbal Medicine: Herbal medicine plays a vital role in TCM postpartum care, providing nourishment and support to a woman’s body during the recovery process. Chinese herbal formulas are carefully tailored to address each mother’s unique needs, promoting Qi and Blood circulation, tonifying the organs, and restoring vitality. Common postpartum herbs include Dang Gui (Angelica sinensis), Shu Di Huang (Rehmannia glutinosa), and Huang Qi (Astragalus membranaceus).
  3. Dietary Therapy: TCM emphasises the importance of nourishing foods in postpartum recovery. According to TCM principles, warm, nourishing foods are recommended to replenish Qi and Blood and support lactation. Foods such as bone broth, congee, leafy greens, and lean proteins are rich in essential nutrients and can help strengthen the body after childbirth.
  4. Rest and Relaxation: Rest is paramount in TCM postpartum care, allowing the body to recover from the rigours of childbirth. New mothers are encouraged to prioritise rest and relaxation, minimising stress and conserving their energy reserves. Gentle exercises such as Qi Gong or Tai Chi may also be recommended to promote circulation and balance.

How Many Treatments are Needed?

The number of TCM treatments needed for postpartum care varies depending on individual factors such as the mother’s health, the mode of delivery, and the presence of any complications. In general, a series of acupuncture treatments may be recommended in the weeks following childbirth to support the body’s recovery process. Typically, new mothers may benefit from weekly acupuncture sessions for the first 4-6 weeks postpartum, followed by bi-weekly or monthly sessions as needed.


In the whirlwind of new motherhood, it’s essential for women to prioritise their own health and well-being. Traditional Chinese Medicine offers valuable support to new mothers during the postpartum period, addressing postpartum depletion and promoting a swift and smooth recovery. Through acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary therapy, and restorative practices, TCM provides holistic care that nourishes the body, balances the mind, and strengthens the spirit. With the right support and guidance, new mothers can embrace motherhood with vitality, resilience, and joy.

Some books that we love here in clinic that further deep dive into this topic are:

  • The Postnatal Depletion Cure by Oscar Serrallach
  • Life After Birth by Jessica Prescott and Vaughne Geary
  • The First Forty Days by Heng Ou

Cosmetic Acupuncture: Elevating Skin Health from Within

In a realm where beauty often seems fleeting, cosmetic acupuncture emerges as a timeless beacon of skin rejuvenation, delving beyond surface aesthetics to nurture holistic well-being. Also known as facial rejuvenation acupuncture, this ancient practice rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a gentle yet profound approach to restoring skin vitality, devoid of invasive procedures or harsh chemicals.

Unveiling the Benefits

Unlike temporary fixes such as Botox or fillers, cosmetic acupuncture orchestrates a natural symphony of skin rejuvenation, stimulating collagen synthesis and enhancing circulation for a youthful, radiant complexion. It not only diminishes fine lines and wrinkles but also improves skin tone, texture, and overall vitality.

Beyond its physical effects, cosmetic acupuncture fosters a profound mind-body connection, promoting relaxation, and reducing stress. By targeting specific acupuncture points, it not only rejuvenates facial muscles but also addresses underlying imbalances, supporting digestive health, hormonal balance, and quality sleep.

A Glimpse into Treatment

During a session, the practitioner meticulously selects acupuncture points on the face, neck, and body relevant to the patient’s skin goals. Thin, sterile needles are gently inserted into these points, promoting the body’s natural healing response and skin rejuvenation. Techniques like facial massage, gua sha, or cupping may complement acupuncture to enhance effectiveness.

Expectations and Results

Notable improvements in skin health are typically seen within 3-6 weeks, with significant results manifesting after 8-10 weeks. The objective is to minimize reliance on pharmaceutical interventions and foster enduring skin health.

The longevity and Results

The duration of the effects of cosmetic acupuncture can vary depending on multiple factors, including your skin’s condition, age, overall health, and lifestyle. Whilst a single session can provide temporary benefits, continuous weekly sessions are proven to produce more significant and long-lasting results.

Ultimately, the longevity of cosmetic acupuncture results depends on various factors, and ongoing maintenance and lifestyle habits play a significant role in preserving the improvements achieved through treatment.

Safety and Considerations

Cosmetic acupuncture, though generally safe, requires caution during pregnancy. Consultation with a healthcare provider is essential, and treatment approaches may be modified to ensure safety and comfort, addressing individual needs and concerns.

In essence, cosmetic acupuncture transcends mere skincare, offering a holistic journey to radiant, resilient skin from within. With its timeless wisdom and nurturing touch, it beckons as a guardian of enduring beauty and vitality, embodying the essence of holistic well-being.

Visit our website page for more information on cosmetic acupuncture and the skin package we offer.

Self Care – 7 Tips For New Mums

Self care – you’ve probably heard that term before! As new mums, it’s easy to feel our needs aren’t as important as everyone else’s, starting with that beautiful squishy baby you just gave birth to. 

We’ll put ourselves last a lot of the time, making sure everyone and everything else is taken care of, before we think of ourselves. 

While we’re told to reach out or ask for help, often we just put on a brave face and keep going, even when we feel like we’re failing. 

Many new mums hear the advice ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’ but don’t take it seriously until they’re struggling. The hardest part is changing our mindset from – self care is an indulgence to self care is a necessity. 

Your emotional, mental and physical well being is so valuable and worth taking the time to look after. It’s not just you who benefits – your baby and your family do too. 

Here are 7 self care tips, ensuring you thrive as a new mum. 

#1: Gather your village

Many new mums notice after the flurry of visitors to see the baby, they’re left to sort of muddle their way through things. 

It’s natural after the birth to want to take some time getting to know your new baby and becoming familiar with how motherhood feels. But this is also the time to reach out to trusted family, friends or neighbours for support whether practical or emotional. 

Family or friends can organise dinner one day a week, or pick up your groceries. Maybe a neighbour can walk your dog or mow the lawn, or even mind the baby while you have a shower. 

Connect with the people who never show up empty handed, always ready to sit with you and listen, who really want to know how you are. These people might be long time friends already on the parenting path, a close family member, or new friends from your mums and bubs group. 

If you’re far from family and friends, not connected to anyone in your area, and it’s in your budget, hire a postnatal doula, cleaner or housekeeper. If you don’t have a local group of mums to meet with, you might like to join Nurtured Birth’s Pregnancy & Postnatal Mothers Group.

This is held in a supportive online space where you can connect with other mums. Click here to find out more. 

#2: Create your space

You probably spent quite a bit of time preparing the house for your new baby but you didn’t carve out a space for yourself. Which might not seem so important until one day you realise the entire house is littered with everything baby and you can’t find one place where you can relax. 

Create a space for yourself and go there when you need a tap out, even if it’s just drinking tea from your favourite cup. This might be a cozy nook in your bedroom or a sheltered spot in the garden.

You might choose to listen to a special playlist just for that space or read a book. It might be somewhere you can retreat to spend some time on your hobby, such as painting or knitting.

Regularly engaging in something that breaks the train of daily thought and process can reduce stress in your body, according to this research

#3: Ignore the chores

The old adage ‘sleep when baby sleeps’ is a wonderful suggestion. Not too many new mums actually follow through and grab some rest because there’s washing to fold, floors to vacuum, or dinner to cook.

The seemingly endless chores derail the opportunity to actually take care of your own needs. Many new mums feel like they’ve lost themselves in some way, often because what they loved doing before they were pregnant has gone to the wayside.

Grab a few of those precious minutes when your baby is sleeping and do something that fills your bucket, whether that’s a hobby like painting or sewing, playing an instrument, or dancing and singing to your favourite tunes. 

Play and fun are integral to our inner sense of self worth and we feel much more centred when we break the daily routine with an activity that we enjoy. 

But don’t forget to get sleep too – see tip #1 about enlisting your village to help you get more rest.

#4: Get out and about

All new mums wake up at some point and realise their world has shrunk to the confines of their house. Getting yourself out into the world as often as you can will make all the difference to your mood and keeps you from falling into the trap of staying home because it’s easier. 

Meet a friend in the park or have a coffee, go see a movie, or explore a local nature reserve. You could even go further and check out that art display you’ve been meaning to see, or take a drive to the beach.

You can choose to go solo, with you baby or with your family. Do something out of your house as often as you can, to remember who you are beyond nappies and babygros. 

Sunshine has been shown to improve levels of serotonin, which is responsible for regulating moods and lowering anxiety and depression. Plus 15 minutes a day in the sun helps you to make enough vitamin D to lower depression too. So get out in the fresh air and sunshine as much as you can! 

#5: Take care of your body

After birth, your body is going through all kinds of changes. It won’t ever be the same as before you were pregnant and it has done some huge work to grow and birth your baby. Taking care of your body is as much self care as taking a relaxing bath.  

Eat a nutritious diet, to fuel you through the tired days and the long hours of breastfeeding. Whole foods that nourish you include a rainbow of fresh vegetables and fruit, lean good quality protein, healthy fats, whole grains and legumes. Try to avoid processed foods as much as possible, as they can make you feel sluggish and tired. 

Drink plenty of water, as poor hydration can really make you feel flat and tired. Keep a water bottle with you at all times, as you can get really thirsty just sitting down and breastfeeding or watching TV. It’s a good way to keep track of how much you’re actually drinking too. 

Sleep might seem a little tricky to come by with a new baby. Ask your partner or your village to help here, by making it possible for you to have a sleep in or a few naps every week . Cosleeping can also help you get more rest, but always practice safe sleeping practices. 

Moving your body can definitely make you feel good and give you more enthusiasm. Exercise doesn’t mean a full gym workout, it can be that walk in the park with a friend, pushing bub around in the pram while you check out local sights, or mums and bubs yoga.

There’s no limit to how you get your movement – push the chairs back and have a disco session in your living room if that’s how you want to roll! Just get those endorphins flowing and connect with your amazing body. 

#6: Offload the busy mind

It’s pretty usual for new mums to feel like they haven’t achieved one single goal, instead just going from unfinished task to unfinished task. It’s exhausting and overwhelming doing more than one thing at a time, without the sense of achievement at the end. 

Try starting your day with a mindfulness moment. Stop and breathe deeply for one minute to clear your busy mind so you can start fresh. Reach for a notepad and pen and list what must be done and what could be done and then go from there. Focus on one task, finish it then move on to the next. 

Give yourself permission to let go of doing everything. You don’t need to be on top of everything all the time. Organise meal delivery services if planning, shopping and preparing meals is overwhelming you. Set up a calendar on your phone or on the fridge and delegate tasks to your partner to take over (paying the bills, organising the dog groomer, scheduling medical appointments etc). 

Journaling can be another excellent way to get things off your mind and help you untangle the busyness so you can find a balance. Writing can be very therapeutic, allowing you to get things onto the page and help clear space for the things that really matter, like enjoying your new baby. 

#7: Be kind to yourself

I know, this doesn’t seem like self care but it’s the very foundation of all these other tips. Setting yourself the expectation you will nail it all day, every day is not self care.

Motherhood is an amazing and rewarding job, but it’s also tough and can send you the extremes of your ability to cope. It’s normal to have hard days, feel angry, sad or even negative. 

Don’t be hard on yourself when you don’t get it right all the time, or even some of the time! Whatever you do, be kind to yourself as you navigate the night wakings, the tiredness, the breastfeeding sessions that last for hours and the piles of washing to fold. 

Like pregnancy and birth, parenting is a unique experience so don’t judge yourself by how others are coping. You are exactly who your baby needs, no matter how well you think you’re doing.

And remember, if you’re really not coping or worried in anyway, seek reassurance and support from your doctor or midwife, or someone you trust to listen and not dismiss your concerns. 

Hiring A Midwife For Your Birth – 4 Top Benefits

When you first conceive your baby, it might dawn you’re about to start making some of the most important choices in your life. 

Such as who will care for you as your pregnancy progresses and who will support you when you give birth. Should you think about hiring a midwife or an obstetrician? 

This choice will have a huge impact on how your birth will unfold, your recovery afterwards, and your transition to parenthood. 

You probably assume you’ll give birth in a hospital, but a small percentage of women also choose to give birth at home. This number is growing during the Covid-19 pandemic, as more women find their birth options being impacted by health restrictions.

Either way, hiring a midwife as your care provider has a whole host of benefits.

So let’s look at the benefits of hiring a midwife and if this is something you should consider.

A quick note:

In Australia, the vast majority of women receive maternity care through a private or public hospital, which the Australian College of Midwives calls a fragmented system. What this means is you will see a number of different doctors and midwives during your pregnancy and when it’s time to give birth. 

Midwifery continuity of care provides the best model of care for women and babies. This is care from the same midwife or team of midwives during the pregnancy, birth and postnatal time. 

Some public hospitals have group midwifery programs but they book out very quickly. Some private midwives have hospital visiting rights so can work in a hospital but are hired directly by you. Or you look at hiring a private midwife to attend you at a home birth. 

Hopefully, the following benefits of hiring a midwife will encourage you to explore this option for yourself. The greater demand for these services, the more they will become available to other women in the future. 

#1: It’s all about you 

A key feature of having a midwife is the woman centred care they provide. Your midwife gives you her full attention, throughout pregnancy, during labour, and after in the postnatal period. 

Midwives are ‘with woman’ so the basis of their care is individualised and holistic, caring for a woman as a whole. 

Midwives care about your physical health, but also your emotional wellbeing too, not just in pregnancy but also after giving birth. They build a relationship based on trust that encompasses your wishes and the dynamics of your family. 

During labour, your midwives create a space where you are free to birth on your terms, while leaning on their support and guidance as needed. 

#2: Have a normal birth 

It’s actually a fact – women who have continuity of care from midwives are more likely to have a natural, intervention free birth. 

Well supported mothers who trust their care provider are more likely to be well informed about the normal process of labour and birth. They’re likely to attend birth preparation classes that support their birth preferences for a natural birth and be active in advocating for their wishes. 

Studies from all over the world show women who have continuity of midwifery care:

  • Go into labour spontaneously (no labour induction)
  • Have babies at full term
  • Less likely to ask for epidurals or other pain relief drugs
  • Reduced risk of having an assisted birth (use of forceps, vacuum or c-section)
  • Have no tearing of the perineum. 

Women who are supported to have a normal birth cope better with labour both physically and emotionally. This leads to them having a more positive experience of labour and birth, with an easier recovery.  

#3: Babies do better

Babies born to mums who have continuity of midwifery care are less likely to be born prematurely or spend time in neonatal intensive care units. Their mothers are less likely to be induced or have epidurals, both of which contribute to preterm birth and fetal distress.

Just as importantly, after birth babies are less likely to be separated from their mothers with midwifery care. This assists with a much easier transition from womb to world. 

In the first minutes and hours after birth, your baby must adjust in many big and little ways, such as regulating their body and temperature systems. This is best assisted by your baby having immediate skin-to-skin contact with you. Breastfeeding is more likely to happen early, and delaying cord clamping is also supported. 

A normal birth exposes babies to healthy bacteria as they’re born, and early breastfeeding is equally important to protect their immune system, both in their early years and later in life. 

#4: Be more confident as a mother

Mothers who have midwifery care give birth feeling in control of their choices, which have a positive impact on their self confidence. 

When you’ve been supported in a way that cherishes you as an individual person and encourages you to believe in your body and yourself, you’re going to be much more confident about the role of motherhood. 

Let’s not sugarcoat it, the early days of having a newborn after giving birth can be a big adjustment. Your body has been working hard growing your baby through pregnancy, and giving birth is an extremely physical and mental event.

Your hormones shift, preparing to nourish your baby as you establish breastfeeding. Sleep might not be as plentiful as your baby adjusts to life outside their cosy nest and their survival instincts kick in. All of these factors can make you wonder if you’re the right person for this important job. 

Having established a relationship with your midwife during pregnancy, she knows you well and can offer reassurance that you’re in fact doing the best you can. She will understand your personal situation and dynamics to offer advice on baby care, breastfeeding, settling your baby and even routine health checks. 

With someone who genuinely cares about you and your baby as a support, you will get through those early days and weeks and feel more confident as you go. 

Nurtured Birth offers postnatal doula services which compliments your midwife’s care. If you’d like to discuss how a postnatal doula can support you, please contact us

How To Support New Mums This Mother’s Day

Wondering how to support new mums this Mother’s Day and make it extra special for her? 

History suggests Mother’s Day has its origins back in the days the ancient Romans and Greeks, when festivals were held to honour the mother goddesses.

Over time, celebrating mothers became less religious and more a tradition where children would present their mothers with flowers or small presents. It wasn’t formalised as a special day of appreciation until the 1930s.

You can spoil a new mum with all the presents in the world but what a lot of mamas say they would really like is support to be the best mum they can be.

It’s a lot, juggling the demands of a new baby and finding some time for self care. So why not gift the new mum in your life with support. 

We’ve put together our 5 favourite suggestions on how to support new mums this Mother’s Day and make her feel special.

#1: Help her get more sleep

Probably the one thing most new mamas crave is more sleep. It’s so hard to come by in the first weeks and even months of motherhood. Newborns take some time to adjust to being in the world and working out days and nights. So your new mama is probably very tired. 

One way to support new mums this Mother’s Day is to help them find more sleep. Take care of the baby while she sleeps in or has a long, deep sleep during the day. 

If you can manage it, organise for this to happen more than once! Ask a close and trusted family member or friend to visit regularly to look after the baby while mama gets some sleepy time.

Or hire a postpartum doula to be an extra pair of hands during the day or night so mama can get more sleep. Find out more about postnatal doulas and how to book one here

To help her sleep even better, make sure the bed is comfy, and add in a support pillow like the Denton’s Pregnancy Pillow. This is wonderful during pregnancy to support her belly as she sleeps on her side.

After birth, it takes time to readjust back to normal sleeping positions, so the pillow can provide added comfort and support new mums to get better rest. 

Click here to purchase a Denton’s Pregnancy Pillow through Nurtured Birth. 

#2: Pamper her

One thing many new mums lack is time just for her. It can be a challenge to do more than wash her face and put on clean clothes every day. Support her to have some time that’s just for her. 

This might include massage, a pedicure or even a day spa. Nurtured Birth offers gift vouchers for our massage sessions which you can purchase at this link

If being away from the baby for too long could be tricky, organise a spa day at home. You can put together a pamper pack of her favourite bath salts, scented candles, face mask and so on. Add an extra layer of luxury on top and organise an in-home Shiatsu massage with Nurtured Birth’s therapist. You can book through this link.  

#3: Family photos

A new mum doesn’t feel very glamorous after birth. A family photo session gives her an excuse to feel beautiful and have lasting memories of herself in these early days of motherhood. 

It’s not unusual for mums to spend more of their time behind the camera, capturing the special moments of the family, and missing out on the chance to be in photos themselves.

Support new mums this Mother’s Day to start a special tradition, by engaging a professional photographer to create lasting memories each year. 

#4: Help her have a night out/day off

After birth, the postnatal period can be quite stressful for new mums as they juggle all the demands of a newborn baby. The focus is often so much on the baby that a new mum can feel really lost and isolated as well. 

One way you can support new mums this Mother’s Day is to organise a special night out. If her baby is old enough to leave for a few hours with a trusted family member or friend, book a table at her favourite restaurant, or any special event she’s been keen to attend (theatre, live gig, movie … the list is endless!). 

If the baby is very young, leaving them may not be an option. Instead why not support new mums to have the day off, so she doesn’t have to lift a finger at all. Present her with breakfast in bed, a new book to read or movie to watch, order in lunch or dinner, and make her feel like the queen she is! 

#5: Hire a housekeeper for the day

New mums are often so exhausted by the day to day of having a small baby that the household chores drop far down the list of priorities.

The fourth trimester is a time to cocoon with her little one, and it’s always much easy to relax into this when her surroundings are calm and tidy. 

One of the best ways to support her this Mother’s Day is to hire a housekeeper, someone who not just cleans but organises things like shopping, cooking and sorting the endless piles of washing. 

What Are The Risks And Benefits Of C-Section Birth?

It’s important to know the risks and benefits of c-section birth. 

Most expecting parents plan and hope to meet their baby after a normal and natural birth. Yet 1 in 3 babies in Australia are born via c-section. 

Sometimes this is necessary for the safety of either mother and baby. C-sections can also happen as a result of the cascade of intervention. This means earlier interventions have disrupted the normal process of labour, leading to c-section being necessary to prevent further harm. 

The World Health Organization recommend c-section should only be performed for medical reasons. Yet research is showing overuse of obstetric interventions is increasing with no evidence of medical need. 

We cover this in our blog post Why Have A C-Section Birth?

Deciding to have a c-section isn’t something anyone should feel pressured into. You need to consider the risks and benefits of c-section birth for the short term. You also need to think about how a c-section birth might affect your future pregnancies and birth options.  

To help you be as informed as possible about your birth options, in this blog we’re looking at the risks and benefits of c-section birth. 

What are the benefits of a c-section?

The benefits of c-section centre around reducing the risk of harm to either mother or baby during labour and birth. 

This means if normal labour and birth increases the chances either the mother or baby could be harmed or die, then the benefit of a c-section is to reduce that risk. 

In rare situations, the fear of giving birth naturally is so extreme that it affects a woman’s mental health. This is known as tokophobia and can lead to pregnancy termination, avoiding prenatal care, and post traumatic stress disorder or other mental health disorders. After birth, it can affect a mother’s ability to bond with her baby. Planning a c-section in this situation may be of benefit. 

There is some reduction in the risk of pelvic prolapse compared to vaginal birth, but this is controversial as it’s suggested this only benefits women who have already had surgery to correct prolapse. 

Babies who have certain abnormalities or known health conditions which may require immediate life saving treatment may benefit from being born quickly at a certain point in pregnancy. 

Risks of having a c-section

Risks of c-sections relate mostly around those that aren’t medically necessary. As we know, many women end up having a c-section as a result of interference with the natural process of labour. 

Some will choose to have a c-section for no medical reason other than convenience but this is becoming rarer as health organisations are beginning to acknowledge the burden of c-section on the health system, women and babies. 

C-section risks for mothers:

  • A reaction to the anaesthetic used during the surgery can cause severe headaches.
  • Needing to stay in hospital longer after birth
  • Longer recovery period needed
  • Blood loss that leads to needing a blood transfusion 
  • Risk of surgical injury to other organs
  • Needing to have a hysterectomy during or after surgery
  • Blood clots on the lungs or pelvic organs
  • Infection of the bladder, uterus or the site of the incision, causing pain and discomfort in the short term, and lead to long term use of antibiotics and potentially further surgery
  • Problems in future pregnancies, related to placenta position, scar rupture, or ectopic pregnancy forming in the uterine scar
  • Scar tissue causing adhesions that lead to organs sticking to the abdominal wall or each other, causing pain and future health issues

Maternal death is increased after a c-section, compared to vaginal birth (4 times more likely after an emergency and 3 times more likely after planned c-sections. 

C-section risks for babies

  • There is a small risk of your baby being cut as the incision is being made. This is more likely to happen if your waters have broken before the surgery, you’re in active labour, the surgeon isn’t experienced, you’ve had a previous uterine incision
  • Your baby is born prematurely, especially if you have chosen an elective or planned c-section. Estimated due dates are simply guesses of when your baby will reach full term and be ready for life outside the womb
  • Breathing problems that require special care after birth. This can either be due to being born early, or the c-section was planned and labour hadn’t started. Contractions push fluid from your baby’s lungs ready for breathing. An elective c-section bypasses this process and causes fast, laboured breathing. 
  • Persistent pulmonary hypertension, which is when your newborn’s system doesn’t transition and continues to flow as it did in the uterus, increasing the blood pressure and lowering oxygen levels. This is more likely to occur in babies born by planned c-section
  • Future health seems to be affected, with babies born via c-section being more likely to develop Type 1 diabetes, obesity, and asthma. It’s thought this is due to babies not being exposed to healthy bacteria in the birth canal 

Babies born via c-section are more likely to be separated from their mothers for the first minutes to hours. This is the time when babies undergo the transition from womb to world and they’re innately hardwired to be close to their mother’s body to get all the benefits. Separation after c-section can impact early bonding and breastfeeding.

Being prepared for birth means being informed and considering all your options. Nurtured Birth offers a range of services to help you navigate whatever your birth journey ends up being.

Contact us to find out more about our birth education classes, workshops on choosing care providers, and birth doula services.

Benefits Of Having A Doula At Your Birth

You may have heard of doulas but aren’t sure what they do or what the benefits of having a doula at your birth might be. 

Doulas are trained to provide informational, emotional and physical support to women and families during pregnancy, birth and the early postnatal period. 

Doulas can support women birthing in hospitals, birth centres or at home. They’re not medical professionals and don’t work for a hospital or a health professional. A doula is hired by you, for you and is focused on supporting you. 

Be sure to read our blog post What Is A Doula? Benefits Of Birth And Postnatal Doulas for more information about what doulas do.

In recent years, there’s been a huge uptick in the number of women hiring doulas as birth support. This is thought to be a response to women wanting more personalised care than is achievable in the current medicalised birth system.

As such, there’s been a number of studies into doula support and whether it actually does offer better outcomes for mothers and babies. 

A review of 22 trials looking at continuous support for women in childbirth involving over 15,000 is found in the Cochrane Library. The review was updated in 2012 and looked at the effects of continuous support during labour, as well whether the type of support made any difference. 

Let’s take a dive into this evidence and see what the benefits of having a doula at your birth really are. 

#1: Less induction

The Cochrane review found one of the benefits of having a doula is 31% of women with continuous support were less likely to be induced with artificial oxytocin (Syntocinon). 

Labor induction is the stimulation of uterine contractions before labour begins on its own. This can be done a number of ways but the most common is to use medications such as Syntocinon. 

Induction labours are generally more painful, as the uterine contractions are stronger and more intense much more quickly compared to natural labour. Constant monitoring of the baby for fetal distress means women aren’t able to move around as easily, restricting movement and increasing pain. 

In 2018, it was reported 41.6% of first time Australian mothers were induced, an increase from 30.6% in 2010. Induction of labour should only be recommended for medically necessary but recent research shows many inductions are recommended with no medical reason.

Continuous support during pregnancy and labour allows women to be more informed about their options should an induction be offered. One of the benefits of having a doula is having a sounding board who listens and responds without judgement. She can discuss why your doctor is recommending induction, help you find more information about the risks and benefits, and support you in making an informed decision. 

Should an induction of labour be the best and safest choice for you, a doula can support you to have a positive experience with the least amount of intervention.  We invite you to read Labour Induction- What Are My Options for more information. 

#2: Fewer c-section births

The review found a nearly 30% reduced risk of c-section as one of the benefits of having a doula. 

C-section is major abdominal surgery that has a host of risks for mothers and babies. We take a look into this more in What Are The Risks And Benefits Of C-Section Birth?

The World Health Organisation says c-section rates should be around 10-15% but unfortunately in Australia they’re double that. 

While c-sections are undoubtedly life saving when necessary, the fact they’re increasing worries many health experts and indicates the surgery may be overused. If you’re hoping to avoid having a c-section, then doing everything you can might include having continuous support from a doula. 

During pregnancy and labour, a doula will help to keep you calm, encouraged, reassured and motivated to achieve your birth preferences. They will create the space you need to feel comfortable and supported, perfect ingredients for a normal birth.

If a c-section becomes the best option for you and your baby, whether it’s elective or unplanned, your doula can help you have an empowered birth experience.

#3: More normal birth

Another of the benefits of having a doula is more women have a spontaneous vaginal birth than those who don’t have continuous support. 

When a woman goes into labour without any induction methods used, and births her baby without needing any assistance such as forceps, vacuum or c-section, this is known as a normal spontaneous vaginal birth.

Nature has designed the labour and birth process to be beneficial to both mothers and babies. During labour, a woman’s oxytocin levels build, peaking at the moment of birth. This hormone stimulates the powerful contractions that thin and dilate the cervix, push the baby down and out, push out the placenta and limit bleeding from the uterus. 

As contractions open the cervix, they also help the baby to move into the optimal position for birth, and shift fluid out of the lungs in readiness for breathing. 

Both mother and baby meet each other without any barriers or separation. Their immediate bonding begins, as both their brains are primed to attach to each other. 

#4: Fewer requests for pain medication

During a normal labour and birth, the pressure of your baby against the cervix and the vagina send signals to your brain to increase both oxytocin and endorphins. Endorphins are our body’s natural pain killers, helping you to cope with contraction pain. 

More oxytocin means more endorphins, and so the process of labour goes. Less oxytocin, less endorphins and contractions can become unbearable, labour can stutter and stall. This leads to health professionals responding with interventions and increased requests for pain relief.  

Oxytocin is promoted when a birthing woman feels safe, isn’t stressed or anxious, isn’t being observed or under bright lights. During your pregnancy, your doula will discuss any triggers or concerns you have so she can ensure your birthing space is protected.

One of the benefits of having a doula is how encouraged and reassured you feel. Your brain will release oxytocin and endorphins to keep labour progressing, your stress levels are low and you work with your body, not against it. Your doula can support you physically and emotionally, helping you during labour to find positions and ways to work with contractions, reducing pain. 

#5: Babies do better

One of the benefits of having a doula and continuous support during pregnancy and birth is it leads to fewer newborns being admitted to special care nurseries.

This is likely due to a combination of factors, mostly relating to their mothers being supported to have normal spontaneous births and having immediate skin-to-skin afterwards. 

Inductions increase the risk of babies being born early, leading to respiratory issues as their lungs haven’t finished developing properly. C-sections can also lead to respiratory distress, usually because fluid hasn’t been moved out the lungs by contractions during labour. This causes fast shallow breathing and can mean oxygen and possibly IV fluids if they can’t feed properly. 

When babies are born, they’re assessed at 1 and 5 minutes and given a score on the APGAR test which provides information about how well a newborn is coping after birth. Low scores on the AGPAR test are often due to fetal distress, maternal anaesthetic, or lack of stimulation which normally happens when born vaginally. C-section births tend see babies score lower on the APGAR test than those born vaginally.

Babies who are given the time and opportunity will crawl to their mother’s breast after birth and begin breastfeeding. This closeness enhances both mother and baby’s production of oxytocin and prolactin, which is essential for bonding, early attachment and breastfeeding.

Attachment is crucial for newborn survival and separation at this point can create devastating stress levels for both mother and child. 

#6: More birth satisfaction

Overall, mothers who have continuous support from a doula are more satisfied with their birth experience. While this might not seem like an important benefit, the rising rates of women experience birth related stress trauma speaks to the lack of positive birth experiences. 

How satisfied a woman is with her birth experience influences early bonding and attachment with her baby. It affects her self confidence and self esteem and will impact on future birth expectations. Women who feel in control of the choices they’ve made for such a life changing event will often be more confident as they navigate the transition to motherhood and feel more empowered to make strong choices in the future. 

Doulas often use the term empowerment to describe the nature of their role. Empowerment means to offer support that gives women the freedom or confidence to have power and control over their bodies and choices. This may look different for different women, but ultimately, the goal is to encourage self-confidence.

To enjoy all the benefits of a having a doula, contact Nurtured Birth to discuss how a birth doula can best support you.

International Women’s Day – What Is It And Why Celebrate It?

You might’ve seen International Women’s Day marked on your calendar or diary and never paid much attention to what this day is.

Or maybe your company or school invites you to take part in events or activities on IWD and you don’t really know much about the history or ongoing support of this day.

Let’s dive in and learn a little more about International Women’s Day and what it means for us at Nurtured Birth.

What is International Women’s Day?

International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world on March 8th, recognising all women for their achievements, whether that’s in the social, cultural, political and economic arena. 

IWD has been happening every day for over one hundred years and since then, it’s grown in terms of the number of organisations, governments and people supporting it. The movement has built a lot of support over the time for women’s rights and gender equality in all aspects of our lives. 

What’s the history of International Women’s Day?

The history of IWD begins with the labour movements happening at the turn of the 20th century in Europe and North America. Women started to protest against their oppression and lack of equality, leading to a march for women’s rights in New York in 1908. 15 000 women demanded voting rights, shorter hours and better pay. 

Two years later, a political leader in Germany suggested the idea of an International Women’s Day and was supported by over one hundred other women from across 17 different countries. 

The first IWD was held in 1911 on March 19th, with more than a million women and men attending protests campaigning for women’s rights to vote, work and hold public office, as well as end discrimination. In 1913 the date of IWD was moved to March 8th and has been held on this day since then. 

How is IWD celebrated in Australia?

The first IWD was held in Sydney in 1928 and was organised by the Militant Women’s Movement, where women demanded paid leave and equal pay for equal work. The following year, Brisbane held an IWD event and by 1931 marches were held in Sydney and Melbourne, continuing annually to this day. 

Why is International Women’s Day important?

Since its beginning, IWD has grown to highlight not only the achievements women have made over the last century, but to demonstrate further work needs to be done to break down the barriers that lead to gender inequality. 

This is so important, even in these times when women have the right to vote, be independent financially and hold political office. There is still a large pay gap between genders and fewer women are employed in prominent positions in corporations or organisations. 

Today, IWD reminds us to look at what has been achieved and to recognise what still needs to be done to ensure future generations of girls and women are treated equally and with respect. 

To find out more about International Women’s Day and events held annually, visit the website here.

What does IWD mean to Sarah Goldberg the Founding Director of Nurtured Birth?


There is nothing quite like the sisterhood, love and connection that can be fostered  amongst woman. We have so much capacity to nurture, lift up and support one another when needed. I want to celebrate all the woman around the world that deeply inspire me to do and be better. I also want to celebrate the great achievements of woman in our past and present that have tirelessly fought for more equality and humanity, highlighting disparities and  improving pathways for all  women young and old.

Incredible photo credit by Vince Hemingson http://hemingsonphotography.com/