Why I wrote ‘The First 1000 Days’ Online Program

I’ve spent the last 5 years working for Qiara Probiotics as the Health Professional Educator – educating Midwives, Lactation Consultants, Maternal Child Health Nurses, Obstetricians, GPs, Naturopaths, Osteopaths (etc, etc) on the importance of the microbiome in Pregnancy & Lactation.. And I LOVE it – it’s so awesome to have a job that helps improve outcomes for mums & bubs via educating the Maternity Care Providers...

But then at the end of last year I had three friends that were pregnant at the same time – they weren’t officially ‘my clients’ so I hadn’t supported them through their whole pregnancies – but I had the opportunity to advise them a little along the way & towards the end.. And the stories were all versions of being UNPREPARED, FEARFUL, CONFUSED or DISMISSED by their primary carers.

1/ Was confused by information give at check up & fearful of birth so she just avoided thinking about anything to do with the actual birth = completely unprepared, confused & very fearful

2/ Had tested positive to GBS but didn’t really know what that meant = confused

3/ Was an older mum (40+) so was told she HAD TO be induced at 39 weeks, but she didn’t want to = dismissed & unheard *see full story below

All of these stories have the underpinnings of going on to have a traumatic birth experience.. Which is happening to 1 in 3 of our Australian mums.. thats around 33%.. That is NOT OK!!

And I was like – oh ok – I know all this stuff that can help prepare mums for having an empowered birth, & to reduce the likelihood of intervention and/or reduce the side effects of ongoing interventions if that happens (side effects to the microbiome particularly but also the side effects to EVERYTHING that comes after birth for mum AND bubs AND Dads & siblings!) … And how to support & optimise the microbiome in this most crucial stage > The First 1000 Days..

So Introducing The First 1000 Days Self-paced Online Program – for Mums, Dads & Maternity Care Workers

A program to educate, empower & improve outcomes all the way from conception through pregnancy, birth, feeding & infant development to 2 years old!!

The over medicalisation of birthing & maternity care (not to mention HELATH care in general – but that’s a while other story!) has a lot to answer for. Just as an example > we have a 40% induction rate in Australia (and rising) and ONLY AROUND 10-15% of them are for MEDICAL REASONs… that a pretty big gap huh!?!?

*DON’T get me wrong – there are times medical interventions are necessary and SAVE LIVES and I thank all the amazing specialists and systems that do that..

What I’m talking about is the UNNECESSARY interventions and the DISEMPOWERMENT of mums & dads to make their own informed decisions.. Let’s get better at informing.. And better at empowering..

This is the ‘extended’ version of one of the above stories – it can help explain how easily things can go ‘wrong’ and lead to unnecessary or unwanted interventions that can have huge impacts to birth, feeding & infant development outcomes.

Empowered Birth Stories Like these are all the way through the Program…. This was the main one the propelled me to write it;

My friend was getting late in her pregnancy and because she was +40 age group she was told by her Obstetrician that she ‘had to be induced at 39 weeks’ … Essentially because the ‘risk’ of still birth goes ‘up after then’… NO other discussion, no options discussed, no actual statistics or ‘real risk’ explained.. Just THIS IS WHAT WE’LL DO… *CUE moment control is taken away from mum & ‘medicalisation’ / intervention begins…

When she told me (at gym because we work out together – yes she was 42 & super healthy and fit!) I was like; ummm.. NO you don’t HAVE to.. It’s actually YOUR choice… (I didn’t actually SHOUT but I wanted to!!)

You see no one had explained to her the RISK vs BENEFIT.. Also it wasn’t offered as ‘choice’ or even a ‘recommendation’ – but it was ‘this is what’s happening’. And when she first told me, she was really disappointed and sad this ‘had to happen’… 

But for her, there was some very compelling reasons to wait for spontaneous labour and that her ‘TRUE RISK’ was extremely LOW… . And even if she went ‘late’ those risks CAN BE MONITORED very accurately…  There was no real medical reason to induce at 39 weeks.. none

You see, Just going from her age 42 (which was THE ONLY REASON her OB suggested induction at 39 weeks) didn’t consider the fact it was her second baby, she was extremely fit and healthy & she was also very in tune with her body & baby.. But most importantly – SHE DIDN’T WANT TO BE INDUCED!

And the other thing – she actually knew exactly when she conceived – so she knew the ‘guess-timated’ due date was actually wrong. And get this – when she told her OB that he said ‘oh well, we don’t do it like that’ & dismissed her… 

THANK GOD we had the conversation when we did and she was able to take back control… So she told her OB she didn’t want to be induced and his response “oh you want to go to term? Ok it’s your body”… 

This made me furious, particularly his blasé attitude…  but the whole story explains how unless you are very sure of yourself, the physiology of birth, your options and your rights – you can easily be led ‘up the garden path’ or should we say .. ‘down the cascade of intervention & medicalised birth’ 

The GREAT news is my friend went onto to have a spontaneous physiological labour, great birth & easy breastfeeding and transition into the new little human’s infancy…

But as I mentioned at the beginning it was this story (and MANY others like it) that compelled me to write this program – because this mumma’s story could’ve ended up VERY DIFFERENT.. She could’ve been one of the 30% or so mums that have disempowered traumatic experiences – that was actually SO EASILY AVOIDED in the end because she made her own informed decision about her birth… 

Please spread the news about the program and help me improve pregnancy, birth, feeding & infant development outcomes for everyone!! 

Get in touch if you need any more information.

Emma Xx