NEW ADDITION: Professor of midwifery Kathleen Fahy with Jenna Kennedy and baby Axle.
NEW ADDITION: Professor of midwifery Kathleen Fahy with Jenna Kennedy and baby Axle.

Midwife aims to increase natural births

THE midwifery teams at Tweed and Murwillumbah Hospitals have been joined by a new, in-residence professor from Southern Cross University.

Kathleen Fahy will lead research projects and support groups, with a goal of minimising medical intervention during child birth.

Ms Fahy has a distinct naturalist approach, which focuses on reducing invasive procedures in birth, such as forceps delivery and caesarean.

"What we have done to birth is we have put it in bright lights, with strangers, with touching and interfering, and women get frightened.

"When a woman is worried her uterus stops contracting.

"This famous 'failure to progress in labour', which is one of the major causes of caesarean, I believe, is caused by women having fearful experiences.

"If a woman is in a warm, dark room, with their partner and a midwife they trust, even though they are in pain, they start to produce endorphins and natural oxytocins, and this makes labour progress."

Ms Fahy said cultural hysteria about birth needed to be tackled through education.

"Some stories of birth can be absolutely horrendous... . How do you go from that to 'It's okay, I'm safe'?

"I think it's a lot about preparing the women."



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