Each year Home Birth Canterbury holds an event to celebrate our midwives and the amazing work they do supporting us as we birth and raise our babies. After our last evening get-together, many people asked for a family-oriented event at a suitable time of day. So we decided to create the Family Fun & Afternoon Tea, a fun get together focused on lots of fun for our kids. And it was a load of fun, for all!
Around 110 adults and children gathered at the Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School in perfect sunny weather for two hours of entertainment. The kids played on the bouncy castle provided free by Mitre 10 Ferrymead and on the School’s fabulous playground. Emily from FabFaces painted the children’s faces with gorgeous designs of butterflies, flowers, dragons and dinosaurs. Chris Williams, a songwriter and performer, created a wonderful atmosphere with his singing and guitar, even ad-libbing some extremely entertaining commentary on the activities around him. Then Josh Grimaldi enthralled kids and adults alike, giving us an action-packed magic show with illusions, comedy magic, interactive juggling and unicycle stunts.
Throughout the event, Aya Botner provided reflexology and massage for expectant and new mums and for our midwives. She set up a quieter shady area where people could relax while she massaged their hands and feet.
In addition to a Cumberland sausage sizzle, the Home Birth Canterbury Committee also laid on a big spread of afternoon tea, freshly churned fruit ice creams, just-popped popcorn and homemade lemonade. Finally we shared an amazing cake prepared specially for the occasion.
The following day we were proud to host the screening of a new documentary, Microbirth – Revealing the microscopic secrets of childbirth, from the producers and directors of Freedom for Birth and Doula! This is a fascinating exposition of the research into the development of a baby’s immune system as a result of the transfer of bacteria from the placenta, at birth, with skin-to-skin and through breastfeeding. The documentary showed the importance of vaginal birth in starting the development of a healthy microbiome and suggested that the increase in caesarean births is directly contributing to poor immune-system health in generations of children. This occurs as a result of caesarean births missing out on the immediate bacteria transfer from the mother’s body and such births’ statistically poorer outcomes for prolonged early skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding. A caesarean operation may also mean that a baby is exposed to the wrong kinds of bacteria in the operating theatre and hospital environment, that may then take hold in the baby’s gut. One suggestion was to actively expose a caesarean-born baby to the correct bacteria in order to mimic the transfer that would have taken place with a vaginal birth.
Over 60 midwives, midwifery students and members of the public attended and were treated to a lovely buffet provided by the New Zealand College of Midwives.
The Committee would like to thank everyone that attended our Labour Weekend events for making it such an enjoyable time. Watch this space as this may turn into an Annual event!