No.3 It's Okay To Not Like Things

I hope you enjoy listening this week as Jacquie, Alanna and I begin to share some strategies for developing family fundamentals. This week we start off by focusing on partner communication, which as anyone in a long term relationship will know is key to a happy and healthy couple.

These strategies will come in handy whether you're a new couple laying the foundation of your relationship and planning for the future, or a veteran parent who is looking for new ways to approach communication, conflict and recognition. 

You’ll find todays show notes as well as past episodes on slowbirth.com/agilefamily. We hope you’ll also join in sharing your comments and feedback with us via Twitter @agilefamily, and send any questions for future episodes via email at theagilefamily@gmail.com

Here's a summary of our family fundamentals for communication:

Communication Basics
    Talking - open sharing
    Listening - active acknowledgement and asking question
    Reflecting - take time to process your thoughts and build connections together

Create Space to Talk
    Develop family rituals, in nature if possible
    Invest time daily to talk and connect
    Check in with long term plans, goals, and desires - weekly, monthly or yearly?

Approaching Adversity
    Managing stress and concern
    Do you argue, debate or discuss - acknowledge and align your style
    Take an objective point of view
    Admit when you're wrong and apologize
    Accept limitations of time, place, finances, ability, etc.    

Recognition
    Practice communication skills by celebrating each other
    Invest time by participating in each other's interests
    Protect time for yourself and your partner
    Recognize that there is no "one perfect way"

Resources and References 

Victor Lucas - TEDxVancouver The 3D Rules

Check out designmom.com

No.2 Home Birth Is (Not Just) For Hippies

Today we take the time to explore the options for place of birth in British Columbia to raise awareness and help you become better equipped to explore your own birth experience. 

You can join the discussion and share your own birth stories at www.slowbirth.com/agilefamily via email at theagilefamily@gmail.com or on twitter @agilefamily.

Once again, I’m joined by my mum Jacquie Munro, Doula and childbirth educator of 30 years experience, and my wife Alanna Munro, freelance communication designer, typographer, and the mother of our baby James.

Thinking about the options for where to give birth to your child is one of the first major decisions you will come to as parents. You will feel the weight of this decision, as it’s not just about making a decision for yourself, you also have an obligation to your child, and it may have great implications for their well being. It’s an intense introduction to parenthood. 

How you go about forming your decision will likely lay the foundation for your future decision making process. 

Early on, you have a lot of time to think and consider many different influences; from family and changes in roles of responsibility, to societal expectations, past experiences with healthcare, your own personal health, as well as best evidence. 

Who knew babies were such a research project. 

We hope this episode will spark in you a broader dialogue of birth experience amongst those close to you as well as your caregivers. 

Knowing that you have thought clearly and carefully through all the possibilities and being open to as many options as possible will set your family up for the best success. 

One of our favourite responses to the question “Where are you planning on having your baby?” has always been; wherever our baby chooses. Jacquie also has this to say:

“Ultimately it is your baby and your body that makes that final decision and it might be midway through labour when you discover where you are having your baby.”

Things to check out!

BC Place of Birth Handbook

Call the Midwife  (TV Series) 
Chronicles the lives of a group of midwives living in East London in the late 1950s to early 1960s.

Here is a summary of evidence based research included in today’s episode:

Midwives Association of British Columbia
(See http://www.bcmidwives.com/vision)

16% of all births 2012/2013 were midwife assisted.
17% of midwife-assisted births that are planned home births
83% of midwife-assisted births occur in hospitals
18 hours - Average reduction in hospital stay duration after midwife-assisted birth
42% fewer births by caesarean section in midwife-assisted births than provincial average

“A study Published in 2009 in the Canadian Medical association Journal found that Planned home birth attended by a registered midwife was associated with very low and comparable rates of perinatal death and reduced rates of obstetric interventions and other adverse perinatal outcomes compared with planned hospital birth attended by a midwife or physician.”
– Janssen et al., Outcomes of planned home birth with registered midwife versus planned hospital birth with midwife or physician, Canadian Medical Association Journal:  Sept 15, 2009. p 377.

No.1 Birth Stories

I am Alex Munro, host of Agile Family, a podcast about pregnancy, birth, and becoming parents. Listen as Alanna and I share our journey as a growing family practicing respectful parenting, trust, communication and active participation in the life of our baby James. We are joined by my Mum, Jacquie Munro, Doula and childbirth educator of 30 years, who shares with us her experience as we tackle big issues that come up for new mums, dads, and families. 

This week we focus on helping you get to know us better by sharing our birth story. You’ll also get to hear Jacquie talk a little bit about the power of sharing birth stories.

“Telling our unique birth stories helps us to process and integrate the experience, and over time it also helps us to understand ourselves. After attending births for almost 30 years, I can really say that every birth story is different. Some births may look the same on paper, but each story will be told differently. What you call your birth story is a reflection of your perspective of life… at that point in time. So it’s important to reflect on your own experience. What stands out for you can be very revealing and life changing. Our stories may also change as we change. Even the most challenging circumstances in birth and life might be framed positively. Listening to and being exposed to all perspectives can help influence your own perception in an empowering way.”

- Jacquie Munro

We hope that by sharing the perspective of birth being a normal part of life, we will have a positive impact on how you perceive your own birth story.

As an Agile Family, we believe in evidence based, informed decision making. Our goal in creating this podcast is to spark positive dialogue and critical thinking, and to support a community of engaged parents and caregivers. 

Our community means a lot to us, so;  If you have questions or topics you’d like to hear covered email us at: theagilefamily@gmail.com.  

If you would like to join in the community, check out slowbirth.com/agilefamily where you can comment on everything we do. We thrive off of your feedback, whether it be positive or constructive.

You can follow us on Twitter @agilefamily and of course, bookmark slowbirth.com to stay up-to-date on other birth stories.

And subscribe to the Agile Family podcast on iTunes using your favourite listening device.

Disclaimer: The information and material in this podcast is intended for educational purposes only. Although thoughts and opinions expressed in this podcast are believed to be factually accurate, they are not intended to replace or substitute professional medical advice or care, and should not be used for the diagnosis of healthcare problems or the prescription of treatment. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the physical or mental health of you or your baby, please seek the assistance of a qualified healthcare professional.