Maddie's Musings

On birth doulas and breastfeeding

Wetnursing ‘Sleb


I have to admit, I didn’t know who she was, but a beautiful celebrity bringing breastfeeding into the spotlight can’t be all bad. All PR is good PR as they say.

So, I think she did a kind thing – in fact, as far as I’m concerned, surely it’s an instinctive thing? I mean, if you have milk and a hungry baby and the mother’s permission, I’m sure any lactating women would ache to feed that baby.

It’s the story behind the story that fascinates me. I would love to know the mother’s story. Why did she have no milk? Was she ill? Had she had a terrible shock? Not even near starvation causes a woman’s milk to dry up completely, as far as I’m aware – it makes sense, just as the growing child in utero will almost always take precedence over the mother’s well-being, so the body will lactate almost despite everything – an evolutionary no-brainer to protect the next generation.

And whilst I admire our Hollywood star’s altruistic instincts, what follows the departure of the camera crew et al? Will this baby’s inevitable end have only been delayed? Perhaps the plan is to begin feeding this child with artificial milk, with all the attendant risks of contamination, unsafe water supply, dirty bottles and teats and the not inconsiderable financial cost to the mother. (In many developing countries, formula fed babies often fail to thrive because a tin of powdered milk can cost the equivalent of a week’s wages, so the milk is watered down to dangerous levels by the impoverished parents).

Maybe they would look for someone more able to wetnurse the child on a permanent basis? If the mother really is unable to nurse, this would be the simplest, cheapest and healthiest option.

Yet again the media fail to look beyond the celebrity headline to the really pressing issues beneath. How I yearn for intelligent journalism! So if you’re a journo who happens to be reading this, go on, make my day and ask some of the questions posed above.

Anyway here’s the film:

Fathers’ Home Birth Handbook


This book has just been published and I think it is so well written and will fill a much-needed void in the information available for Fathers. It is written by the lovely Leah Hazard, a doula colleague of mine and I’m proud to say that a couple of the fathers who tell their stories are the husbands of my clients. They are both 2 of the most supportive partners I’ve known in my doula career and I’m proud to have played a small part in their stories – and a very small part in the birth of this book!

You can read the first chapter and order the book here

posted under birth, childbirth education, father, homebirth | Comments Off

A Birth Film For Fathers


This trailer looks interesting. It looks like it will be a film that aims to empower fathers to protect their babies and partners during labour, birth and immediately postpartum. Filmed in the US.