Sunday, February 27, 2011


The matter that has occupied a great deal of my time and thinking space lately is the new world of maternity reform that centres on being 'eligible' for Medicare. A summary of the 'New Arrangements for Midwives' is at the MIPP blog.

My application for eligibility has been in the hands of the Nursing and Midwifery Board since early December 2010. I have had discussion with the Board's officer who has processed it, and my application was on the Board's agenda for this past Thursday. However, the meeting was adjourned unfinsihed, and my item was not discussed. It will be on the agenda for the reconvened meeting.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A midwife's knitting

I have had knitting or crochet projects on the go, particularly in the cooler months, for as long as I can remember. My projects are not usually complicated. I lose interest in some and pull them apart so that the wool can be used for someting else. I have to be able to put it down and pick it up without losing my place. I'm not a particularly good knitter, not particularly fast.

There are shawls and rugs and hats and slippers and simple toys.

I was a little amused to read in a notice about the Womb-ecology Mid-Pacific conference coming up in Hawaii in 2012 that one of the workshops is ‘silent knitting’
“Of course the “silent knitting” session will be the historical symbol of the paradigm shift we are dreaming of after thousands of years of socialisation of childbirth, at a time when modern physiology is teaching us that one cannot positively help involuntary processes such as the birth process, but that some situations can inhibit them (neocortical activity and adrenaline release). Participants will be in an ideal situation to realise that avoiding the use of language is a way to reduce neocortical activity, and that a repetitive task like knitting is a way to reduce the level of stress hormones: a crucial step towards the rediscovery of authentic midwifery.”

Sunday, February 06, 2011


Beautiful Eve

Am I rushing in where angels fear to tread?

A recent post at the Science and Sensibility blog about Epidural Anaesthesia, written by well known Canadian family physician, Michael Klein MD, will be of interest to anyone who is interested in pain and childbearing. Dr Klein's paper is well referenced, and a reliable review of current medical knowledge about the topic.

The comments by readers reveal to me some of the myths and misunderstandings about pain and childbirth that I encounter from time to time. Comments quickly become defensive, assertive, and even aggressive in defending one camp or the other.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Caring about professional conduct

The topic of this post is one that is unlikely to attract acolades for the writer. It's one of those aspects of professional practice that implies a risk to the recipients of care, and that sometimes difficult judgments need to be made in order to maintain a professional standard.

There are people in every walk of life who develop conditions that may impair their judgment or conduct, people whose thoughts and actions are adversely influenced by alcohol or other substances, and people who fail to meet the community's standard in terms of professional misconduct and abuse of their position of trust. There are also people whose actions as professionals are significantly different from accepted professional standards. While tolerance and acceptance of difference are values many of us hold dear, we must all take seriously our duty of care, and act to protect others at times when we observe conduct that is of concern.