Wednesday, April 22, 2009

making newborn fleece covers

It's not a secret any longer - I'm expecting another baby!

I went with a bit of trepidation to my 18 week ultrasound yesterday (trepidation because...I'm not sure that knowing more about your baby actually puts any of your maternal mind at rest!)

I'm glad we went though - as I half-suspected, our baby seems to be a tiny girl. (The other half suspected it was a boy! Hee hee.) Now we have 3 months to think about raising a daughter before reality is suddenly upon us!

Somehow I feel more responsible for trying to understand our girl child while our husband interprets our boy child for the world, and the world for him in turn. Is that silly? Anyway, I feel a new sense of responsibility, a bit different to how I felt when I gave birth to a boy last time.

Now, preparing a baby trousseau is a lot simpler the second time round. I mean, we have already everything she needs! But I did need to make a few newborn nappies and covers. Apart from the obvious, the size, I feel newborns need more attention to things like softness of fabric. While I search around for some organic fabrics to make newborn nappies, my mum and I meanwhile made up some tri-colour fleece covers, just for fun.

I used a pattern for toddler undies, available free online, and just shrank it by photocopier, to 80% of original size. The reason this pair are tri-colour is actually because we used left-over fleece scraps from Mum's box. I'm going to cut up an old fleece dressing gown for some more - remember the older the fabric the fewer residual chemicals. As long as it's not worn through already!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I decided to write to our minister for health regarding the scary prospect of the end of independent midwifery. Please have a read of what I wrote, and be moved to write your own letter - soon!

Nicola Roxon
Minister for Health and Ageing
Parliament House, CANBERRA 2600

Dear Nicola,

I am a former current affairs journalist, now a book author (Sustainable Baby, to be published mid-2009). I am a mother of one, and planning to have my second child at the end of September, delivered at home by an independent midwife. I’d like to add my voice to the many others to plead with you to do something about saving homebirth midwifery.

The report of the last Maternity Services Review states that the Government will not support the costs of private homebirth services under the Medicare Benefits Schedule, nor will they help to provide indemnity insurance assistance to midwives working in private practice. If plans go ahead to establish a national registration body for health professionals, for which professional indemnity insurance will be mandatory, I fear that subsequent children of mine and those of my Australian sisters everywhere, will be denied the birth experience (homebirth) which is actually the gold standard of maternity (and therefore baby) care, according to the World Health Organisation.

Birthing at home can be a more sustainable choice, both financially for the entire health system, and in terms of consumption of medical equipment and the myriad of throwaway items found in hospitals. With proper midwife care, it can also be the best possible start for a new human being.

My great-great grandmother was jailed in South Africa for helping impoverished women abort unwanted foetuses. I think the prospect of making it illegal for women to help other women give birth as they choose, in this day and age, and in this country, is absolutely untenable if we consider women to have gained more liberties since then.

I ask that you support a woman's right to choose where and with whom she gives birth, in 2010 and beyond.

Best wishes,
Debbie Hodgson