Midwife Jo Hunter shares her amazing birth journeys, this episode is inspiring for those wondering about private practicing midwifes and their role in the community. 🌿 Jo talks about her inspiring births then her amazing journey to becoming a midwife, advocate and now filmmaker! We hear detail about #birthtime – New upcoming Australian documentary on birth & more. 🍁 Great episode for birthworkers, midwives, students and most definitely pregnant mammas that need some inspiration and information! I feel after listening to this that we need to get out there with our voice and help those women that want to make supported and informed decisions about their maternity care.
What can I say, this show is certainly heading into some important territory. Jo and I begin our chat with a love story. Jo met her husband in London and they made quite a big decision to move to Australia. Then, not long after they were pregnant with their now 21 year old daughter. Jo knew birth was normal, in fact, she even quizzed all her family about birth from a very young age. So when it become her turn, Jo knew that she wanted to make this experience in the most supported place possible. Now 21 years ago we were not surrounded by instant information on brith and being a parent, so Jo did her research with books! One of them was Ina May’s guide to Spiritual Midwifery. And many other great resources like Sheila Kitzinger that were around at this progressive time. So they decided that the birth centre was the place to be for this first baby to come earthside. Jo went into labour and had a hard time removing her self from the toilet seat! Sounds like this is a common safe space for many labouring women, with her  husbands help and an interesting car ride she was on track to the birth centre. For a first born, this was a very quick labour and Jo describes the experience as wonderful. Jo devised a birth plan and in this she requested physiological third stage, the midwife potentially did not understand this and read this a no Syntocin only, and she began cord traction. Jo ended up in hospital with haemorrhaging and required blood transfusions. Jo talks about her feelings after this experience, not in a sense to blame or to be traumatised, yet bummed that it headed this way after a peaceful birth. Jo said ‘Im going to do this properly next time, no one is going to touch that cord!‘ From there on Jo knew she wanted to become a midwife, yet she still had some more babies to make!
So pregnant again a few years later, Jo was risked out of the birth centre because of the last haemorrhage. She deiced that labour ward was not really for them. So they saved all their money for a home birth and this is where Jo felt the most cared for. (A home birth 20 years ago cost $1500 in Australia, now you are looking at $5000 to $7500 where is that money going? Insurance, regulation…) They formed a great bond with the midwife and baby was born into water in the matter of hours. Jo recalls being worried about the cord and placenta for a moment, yet with the gentle guidance of the midwife the placenta was birthed and there was no significant blood loss. Her young daughter was present at this birth and Jo recalls loving the normality of this and the noises that she made around the home. Next time around come pretty quickly for Jo, only 4 months after birth she was pregnant again. Yes you can get pregnant while breastfeeding in the first 12 weeks! Jo’s births seem to form a pattern of very fast births, baby was born before the midwife come in only a few hours. This was a seamless, fast and easy birth! Fourth time around, and, definitely the last Jo describes the feeling of knowing in her pregnancy that this was the last and perhaps holding in baby over her usual 38-39 weeks.