Thursday, October 30, 2008

Anti-Abortion laws & VBAC

This just shows how important it is to realise the full and far-reaching effects anti-abortion laws can have:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Documentary Update

I've been having a good, long, hard think about the direction the birth documentary is going. I have started writing up the proposal and it sunk in that this was turning into a project of epic proportions and, quite honestly, it was going to be more than I could handle. I have a nasty habit of thinking way *way* too big! ;-)

So I'm back to the drawing board. I re-wrote the proposal from the perspective of Doula's but now I feel like it might exclude some people that I really want to interview. I guess I just need to sit down and decide what exactly each episode will cover.

I think a little research into documentary film-making might also be in order!

And sorry for the lack of posts recently - I was on a hectic shooting schedule and then editing a rather terrible movie. Things have quietened down now, so hopefully that will see me blogging more often!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Who said big babies can't be born vaginally?

Meet SUMObaby!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Birthing From Within

Since ever I can remember I have been fascinated with childbirth. My mother loves to tell the story of how when she tried to teach me about the facts of life, I really wasn't interested in anything except the part of the book she had that showed pregnancy and childbirth. I remember being in awe of the cartoon-style drawing of a woman who had just pushed out the baby's head. The mother and father were both smiling. I would read that section over and over. Being the oldest out of all my siblings, and the grandchildren on both sides, allowed me to see my mother and various relatives go through the process.

I remember in school having this thought of wanting to be a midwife. I didn't really know what it was, but there was something deep down that just told me its what I wanted to be. After school I looked forward to having a baby one day.

Then, one fateful day ;-) , I went to my local library and saw a book there called "Birthing From Within". I flipped through the pages and saw fascinating pictures drawn of birth. I took the book out and started reading. I didn't put it down. At times I was so overcome with emotion that I started crying, but I just sucked in every single word. It's like something clicked. It was like I'd been let in on this secret that was held within the pages of this book, and carried deep down in the souls of all women (whether they know it are not).

I think this book helped plant a seed that has blossomed in so many ways in my life. While my own birth story didn't go anything like I had hoped, I still haven't lost hope in what I connected to while reading Birthing From Within. I can honestly say it was a life-changing experience for me - and that was just from *reading*!

These days there is a fabulous lady I have come to know (and admire greatly) who now offers what is in the book as a course. I can't imagine how amazing it must be to have the full experience of doing all the practical exercises mentioned in the book, with other people who are also learning things about themselves. I can only imagine that the classes hold some very special memories for people, and have a profound effect on the birth of the child, and the birth of a couple as parents.

Her name is Rosalia (affectionately shortened to Lia, from what I know). So far the classes are only taught in JHB.

You can find out more on her website called Birthing in Awareness

You can also learn more about Birthing From Within on their website, as well as find the locations of classes internationally offered.

If you can't make the classes, and are expecting a baby, I highly recommend reading the book. I think that book made me loose all fear of childbirth and really just give in and be fully present in the process of natural birth.

It can be purchased on Kalahari for R220.00
Or my other favorite place to buy online, Loot, for R187.00

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My New Project

I'm at film school at the moment and recently I've had the opportunity to put together a proposal for content on a local TV channel. Obviously I'm jumping at the chance to put together something about pregnancy and childbirth.

At the moment I'm in the planning stages of making a 6 part documentary series that will cover a broad variety of aspects surrounding the childbirth process from a uniquely South African perspective.

Here are a few of the ideas so far:

  • How does government vs private care compare?
  • What are the circumstance women from the lower income brackets facing when expecting, and having, a baby? (showing how they often have a baby alone, and then get kicked out of hospital mere hours after giving birth to navigate long journeys home on public transport)
  • What is being done about the lack of governmental facilities? (coverage on the work of Bossom Buddies who are doing fantastic work already!)
  • How does care in SA private hospitals compare to overseas?
  • How does South Africa's c-section rate, and various related topics, compare to the international trends?
  • Homebirth - how is it viewed, what is it like?
  • Interesting and less well known aspects of childbirth such as - Lotus Birth, Unassisted/Free Birth, VBAC/HBAC, Birthing from Within, Doulas, Hypnobirth and anything else I can think of!
  • A post birth episode that covers things like PND, post-natal care and how what happens in SA compares to places like the UK who have a "health visitor" program giving support to women in the months following the birth.
I'm completely overwhelmed with the amount of work this is going to be, but I am incredibly excited! I get to put my two greatest passions together :D !! I think it will also be a fantastic journey for myself and the other people involved in helping me make this.

I am hoping to put together an all female crew as well. Not that I don't think boys can't do it, but one of the things that will help me get the proposal approved is to have a high PDI rating (which means that the film is made by previously disadvantaged individuals, which women are considered to be) but I also just like the coolness factor of the "girl power" side of it. ;-)

So if you are reading and think you might be able to help in the form of information or interviews, or anything, then please contact me here or privately.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Pregnancy & Skincare

I found this great article which actually explains why you shouldn't use certain skincare products during pregnancy. We all hear about various moisturisers that should be avoided during pregnancy but very little info is ever shared about *why*.