Birth Stories:

Elijah Naicker born at home

Birth of Elijah Naicker

born at 20h15 on the 6th February 2012.

weight:  4.25kg

head:   41cm

length: 50cm

Janine had regular contractions from 12h00 and then rang to say she was off on a walk. When she returned from her walk the contractions stopped for an hour and then once she relaxed they came back.  I got to Janine at 17h00 and her contractions were moderate and coming every 5 mins.  At 17h30 I did a pelvic exam and found her to be 6cm and I could feel the baby’s head as very smooth. This meant that the membranes were tight across his head.

Janine got into the bath and her husband Darryl got in beside her.  I sat on the floor and kept a note of all her contractions which at that stage were coming every 2 mins and lasting 30 to 60 seconds. Janine moved around in the water until she found a comfortable position.

I monitored the baby s heart beat every 30 minutes.  Her blood pressure was normal and she was dilating beautifully.  It was easy to observe her progress by her sounds and actions.

I was very comfortable in the setting and the water is a wonderful pain relief.

Doing this birth as a primary under supervision meant that I did all the keeping of notes and paper work as well as sitting quietly next to the bath listening.

Janine vomited and then I knew we were close to the birth. Observing a birth is pure magic. At 19h45 Janine's waters broke in the water and she said it felt like a balloon had popped and she could feel it blowing out.  Her body was doing the actions without her having to make the effort. Her eyes were closed and she was in a different space. This was the oxytocin working at it's very best.  I watched as the fetal ejection reflex did its work and Janine could feel little Eli's body moving down inside her. She changed positions a few times to help him come more easily. (When the baby moves like that it is an indication that the baby is ready to come out and that the mum must now allow this process to happen which may mean that she has to move into a different position).

Fetus ejection reflex and the art of midwifery by Michel Odent:-

Is the art of midwifery the art of creating the conditions for a fetus ejection reflex? The phrase "fetus ejection reflex" was originally introduced by Niles Newton in the 1960s, when she was studying the effect of environment on the birth of the mice(1). I found it relevant in the 1980s to rescue the term from oblivion and to use it for humans as well(2). Today I consider this "reflex" as the necessary physiological reference from which one should try not to deviate too much. During the powerful and irresistible contractions of an authentic ejection reflex there is no room for voluntary movements. A cultural misunderstanding of birth physiology is the main reason why the birth of the baby is usually preceded by a second stage, which may be presented as a disruption of the fetus ejection reflex.(3) All events that are dependent on the release of oxytocin (particularly childbirth, intercourse and lactation) are highly influenced by environmental factors.

The passage towards the fetus ejection reflex is inhibited by any interference with the state of privacy. It does not occur if there is a birth attendant who behaves like a "coach", or an observer, or a helper, or a guide, or a "support person"(4). It can be inhibited by vaginal exams, by an eye-to-eye contact, or by the imposition of a change of environment. It does not occur if the intellect of the laboring woman is stimulated by a rational language ("Now you are at complete dilation; you must push"). It does not occur if the room is not warm enough or if there are bright lights.

A typical fetus ejection reflex is easy to recognize. It can be preceded by a sudden and transitory fear expressed in an irrational way ( “kill me”, “let me die”, etc.). In such a situation the worst attitude would be to reassure with words(5). This short and transitory expression of fear can be interpreted as a good sign of a spectacular increase of hormonal release, including adrenaline. It should be immediately followed by a series of irresistible contractions. During the powerful last contractions the mother-to-be seems to be suddenly full of energy, with the need to grasp something. The maternal body has a sudden tendency to be upright. For example, if the woman was previously on hands and knees, her chest tends to be vertical. Other women stand up to give birth, more often than not leaning on the edge of a piece of furniture. A fetus ejection reflex is usually associated with a bending forward posture. When a woman is bending, the mechanism of the opening of the vulva is different from what it is in other positions. The risk of dangerous tears is eliminated. After a typical ejection reflex, the placenta is often separated within some minutes.


At 20h15 little Elijah was born in the water with a cord around his neck and he stayed in the water with his mum, dad and brother for 40 mins or so.  He did not have any mucus and his health was excellent. Apgar was 9/10 and after 5 mins 10/10.


The placenta was born and he had a lotus birth which means he was still attached to the placenta after the placenta was expelled.  He breast fed beautifully. His weight was 4.25kg, head circum 41cm and his length was 50cm.  Checked his morow reflexes and he was perfect. Janine had a few stitches as his shoulders were large.

Janine did an excellent job as a labouring mum and they are all ecstatic with the birth of her second son, Elijah.

I left her home at 23h00 after getting her up for a trip to the bathroom, checking her tummy and her uterus had already shrunk to the size of a tennis ball as little Elijah was sucking so well.  Checked all her vital signs and coming home feeling excited and tired.


7th February -  and I went down to visit Janine and check on Eli.  All was good and Janine looked a million dollars!

Her baby and husband were glowing and she was well rested.  Marianne bathed little Eli and he was also given a good massage.

He had a meconium nappy and then set about having a very good breast feed.  We listened to his heart and checked his little body again and found him to be 100%.  Janine was checked and all fabulous so there is another birth story with a happy ending!


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What I Do

I am living my dream while working with mums and babies. I see mums when they are 34 weeks pregnant and then go to their homes once they go into labour. I stay for the full duration of the labour and after the birth I assist them with breast feeding. I do another visit after the birth to see that all is well and to help where I can.  Mums are always welcome to call me in the event that they have any questions, whether before or after the birth. I am passionate about my work as a doula and I care and love all the families with which I work. Once you have been present at a birth you feel part of the family and it’s wonderful to hear news of the new baby’s life as he or she grows.

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