Sarah Buckley on Lotus and Undisturbed Birth

Sarah Buckley was so kind to spend some of her precious time with us so we could learn all about the joys of lotus birth and the benefits, and physiological needs, of undisturbed birth. Dr. Sarah Buckley is the author of Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering. She is also the mother of four and a family physician in Australia. Thank you Sarah, for your wisdom, for following your own trail, and mostly for sharing your thoughts with us.

Ashley: I really appreciate your time and I was so glad to come across your writing for the first time, I think it was on mothering.com or something like that and you just really resonated with me, so I was really glad to read your book, Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering, which is incredible in the depth of knowledge you’ve got packed in that little book! It’s a lot! It’s a lot to get through and really apprehend, it’s great, and a great resource to have.

Sarah Buckley: Have you read the old version or the new version?

Ashley: I don’t know actually, I ordered it online, and I don’t know.

Sarah Buckley: When did you order it?

Ashley: I don’t know, three weeks ago, four weeks ago.

Sarah Buckley: You must’ve got the new version, there was an older version that was published in Australia but it’s great having that new version that can get out all over the world.

Ashley: Well, there is just such great information on all the medical stuff, and some of it was over my medical head, but it was good to have it there if I need it at any point so thank you. I did want to talk to you about undisturbed birth and lotus birth I think you have such a great perspective being in the physician world and a mother.

Sarah Buckley: I have to tell you that one of my friends that lost her house in the bushfires also has a book on lotus birth, Shivam Rachana. She wrote a whole book on lotus birth, called Lotus Birth and she was about to reprint and redo and we were just talking last week about what we were going to do with it and then it was burnt.

Ashley: So, is her original book out?

Sarah Buckley: Well, she helped publish the book in Australia and she had I think about 2000 copies and I think they’re about sold out, I’ve got 2 copies left and whatever she had probably isn’t there anymore.

Ashley: Yeah, that’s right.

Sarah Buckley: Yeah, that was time to reprint it so it’s interesting the way it happened.

Ashley: Now, is she the one who…I heard there was the woman in California who kind of revived lotus birth, or came up with it?

Sarah Buckley on the History and Development of Lotus Birth

Sarah Buckley: I’ll tell you the story, it’s in my article but there is the story of lotus birth, as I know it, people have said there are traditional cultures that have done it, but I haven’t... it’s not something that anthropologists might even have noticed actually. So we don’t really know if that’s true or not, we know a lot of cultures have high regard and certain rituals around the placenta and the baby’s cord, but I haven’t seen any official records of any cultures that don’t cut the cord at all. And there is a woman in California, and she’s dead now, but her name is Claire Day and she read a book called “In the Shadow of Man” which was written by a primate researcher named Jane Goodall, quite a famous woman. And Jane Goodall said that chimpanzees don’t cut the cord. And there was also a lot about how social the chimpanzees are and they are social and apparently quite peaceful primates. And Claire Day kind of made a connection between these two things. She was really an unusual woman, I’ve seen some of her original writings from many years ago and she was, she described herself as psychic and she could see the trauma in people’s bodies and she said she could see the trauma around most people’s umbilical areas and she thought, she put these things together over years of thinking about it and she came to the conclusion that cutting the cord was traumatic for the baby. She also went through quite a lot of old texts, the Koran, the Bible, other religious texts, other cultures and found some mentions; she found that both Jesus and Buddha didn’t have their cords cut. So, it was sort of evidence more to her that it might be a traumatic event for the baby and she got pregnant herself and went to the hospital to have the baby and managed to negotiate with her caregivers not to cut the cord and she took her baby home with her placenta intact and her baby’s name was Trimurti. This was around San Francisco I think and the dates, were around 1972, 73 I think. And then she thought that she was really excited about that as a possibility for other mothers, so one of the first people she contacted was Jeanine Parvati Baker, do you know of Jeanine?

Ashley: Yes, an incredible woman!

Sarah Buckley: Yes, so she shows up at Jeanine’s door and says something like “Oh, the counselor of elders have told me to come and talk to you about lotus birth” and at that time Jeanine was pregnant with her twins. They’re probably 30 something now. This was probably the early to mid-seventies. And Jeanine was really taken with the idea so she decided to do that with her twins. Which was quite a big job as one of the first lotus births, but she did it and she was convinced that it was a great idea. And really increased her reverence for the placenta, you could say, and then my friend Rachana, also by another strand had looked at the cord. She had attended quite a few births and noticed that sometimes the baby will push the knife or push the scissors away that are cutting the cord. She’d noticed that children were very excited about the placenta. She had taken a whole bunch of photos of one birth and there were some children present at the birth and she put all the photos down and asked the children to choose which photo they like and they chose the photo of the placenta. And she describes another episode where the placenta was in a bowl on the table and the little child came in with her friend to come and see the baby but the little child actually took her friend to see the placenta!

Ashley: There was a connection.

Sarah Buckley: Yeah, this instinctive attraction to the placenta. And she’d also done some primal therapy and in one episode of primal therapy she talks about re-experiencing the loss of her placenta and being in this big red room with this red pillow and just feeling that she could kill anyone who took this pillow away from her, which was like her placenta.

Ashley: Oh my goodness.

Sarah Buckley: So, there are many other, in talking about lotus birth and placentas, there are many other strands to it. Many cultures hold it in high regard, they look to it as the baby’s grandmother, the baby’s sibling and in primal therapy it’s like the baby’s first possession, the baby’s first object, the first other, even though actually genetically it’s made out of the same material of the baby, it’s part of the baby. But the baby experiences it as the other. And the ultrasound has seen baby’s licking the placenta and putting their head against the placenta.

Ashley: Oh my goodness!

Sarah Buckley on Cord Cutting and Blood Loss

Sarah Buckley: And you can actually hear a hum from the placenta. You can hear it with a stethoscope. And so, there’s lots of different strands of it that come together with lotus birth. Another strand is in the rebirthing community and Rachana’s talked about how they’ve really taken up this idea of, what does it mean to our primal imprint to have this sudden cutting of the cord, which is not only the loss of the placenta, this first object, friend or sibling or whatever you want to call it, but also the imprint that it can have, and I write about this in a lot of my work of hemorrhage. Because when the cord isn’t cut straight away the placenta actually transfers blood back to the baby, about 100ml of blood comes back from the placenta into the baby in the first 3 minutes after birth. And if the cord suddenly is cut the baby doesn’t receive that 1/3 to 1/2 blood supply and they experience it as a hemorrhage. So it’s imprinting that loss, that fear of death, which we all have around birth. And that probably contributes to everyone’s fear of birth. Rachana points out all the placenta-like things that we come up with to carry around with us, like a handbag, a wallet and all these sort of placenta substitutes that we carry as items of survival, our money and our credit cards and how possessive we can be about those and perhaps that’s a link. And the other funny thing is the birthday cake. The placenta actually means cake, flat cake in Latin. And what we do is have this round flat cake on our birthdays, sort of placental-size that we animate it and then we blow out the candles!

Ashley: And then we eat it!

Sarah Buckley: And it’s alive and then it dies. And that’s part of the ritual of the birthday cake. In fact one of my birthdays my daughter actually iced my birthday cake like a placenta!

Ashley: That’s very creative! Can I ask you, I know some other cultures eat the placenta, do you know about that?

Sarah Buckley: Well, every other mammal eats the placenta, for many reasons, one of them is the fact of giving birth in the wild, you don’t want to leave a piece of meat around to attract predators. So that’s one thing, it’s necessary for survival. Another thing is the placenta is very rich in nutrients and the mother has transferred her nutrients to the baby through the placenta and the placenta is a fantastic source of iron and zinc and vitamins, and hormones as well. We think, one study shows that in many cultures they use other animal’s placentas therapeutically. Like dried donkey’s placenta is used in extract to speed up births. And people have found active hormones in dried placentas. So, some women believe that when they eat their baby’s placenta it reduces the risk of post partum hemorrhage because of the hormonal effect. Another thing is in animals the placenta and the membranes are actually rich in beta-endorphins, which is our body’s natural opiate, so it’s a reward hormone. So Mother Nature is actually rewarding animals, and that would include us, by eating the placenta. We’re saying it’s a good thing to do and nourishing the baby. There was a study with rats, and they actually stopped the rat from eating the placenta and the rats had, I think, deficits in mothering. So it’s a very necessary part for other animals and I’m sure that our human ancestors have done it in the past. So, if we start eating the baby’s placenta again, we’re really doing something that’s genetic again, that’s built in evolutionary terms, in our genes. And you know there is certainly a movement back to that to eat the placenta at the time of birth, to cook it up and eat it. Or some people dry it and capsulate it and use it as medicine. Some people use it as a homeopathic remedies out of it. But I think as far a my point of view, through having three lotus births, I regard the placenta as belonging to the baby. So, personally, and this is my personal opinion, and other people are free to do what they want to do, but personally I would only do that in difficult circumstances because I really think the placenta belongs to the baby. I have heard of people who’ve done a bit of both, eat a little of the placenta and had a lotus birth. After a lotus birth it is pretty hard to care for a placenta so that it’s edible afterwards. I generally don’t recommend that people do that after a lotus birth.

Ashley: Because you’re basically drying it out right? I think I heard you’re adding salt to help dry it out.

Sarah Buckley on the How To's of Lotus Birth

Sarah Buckley: The thing about lotus birth Ashley is it’s a really new thing, so we’re all making it up as we go along. So, in Australia Rachana’s niece who’s about 22 now, was the first lotus birth. And then various members of the community had a lotus birth. And then one of the fathers of the baby was a chef and he was trying to figure out how to preserve the placenta. In the early ones, like Jeannine Parvati Baker used a pyramid to cure it, and I don’t know quite what it did, but that’s what they used. So one of the babies father was a chef and so he recommended trying a few things, in thinking what can we do to preserve the placenta to some extent? And they tried putting it on ice, and when they did that the babies really hated it and got upset. I actually had that experience of going to a friend’s place who was having a lotus birth and the baby was really upset and the placenta was cold and once they warmed the placenta up, the baby was happy. The babies can be really sensitive to the placenta, to the temperature, to who handles it. Some babies get really upset if somebody else handles the placenta. So even though there’s no longer the physical connection once the cord stops pulsating, there is this energetic connection as I said it’s part of the baby’s genetic material, an external organ of the baby. So, when they found out cold didn’t work, they tried out salt. For many people here in Australia and many people who read the book, or read my work, they salted the placenta, other people I know Sunni Karll, in her book Sacred Birthing: Birthing A New Humanity, she’s got a really nice section on lotus birth, I don’t know how available it is, it might be out of print. But she recommends using powdered rosemary, she thinks it’s much more kind. She thinks salt is a bit harsh on the placenta. And she also suggests, and this is very, very sensible, keeping as much air as possible around it. What I did with mine, and one option is to wrap the placenta up to absorb because it does tend to ooze a little blood, but if you wrap it up you stop it from drying out as well, and that may make it even worse. So, drying it out, putting it into a bamboo steamer, do you know what I’m talking about, it’s usually the perfect size.

Ashley: No. I haven’t heard of that.

Sarah Buckley: Yeah, people have used colanders, with my fourth baby, my third lotus birth, I’d had the placenta and decided not to salt the placenta and I actually put it in a colander and kept the air circulating around it as much as possible. Keeping it dry, and it really did it almost fell apart by the end! So, I guess what I’m saying is there’s a number of people who are doing it, and people are welcome to make their own choices or make up something new because it’s all evolving! But, Sunni Karll says if you keep it really dry, like in a bamboo steamer, then you can ingest it afterwards, but I personally wouldn’t recommend it.

Ashley: Okay but the drying out is what helps it fall off?

Sarah Buckley: Actually no, what happens with lotus birth and with the cord attached to the baby, the action that is happening when the umbilical is falling off is right down at the very base of the cord at the baby’s umbilicus. And that’s exactly the same process whether it’s a cord stump or the whole cord and placenta.

Ashley: Okay.

Sarah Buckley: Lotus birth, it’s important to know, actually doesn’t make any difference to that process, physically doesn’t make any difference. So people think oh my gosh you’ve got a cord infection with a lotus birth, what do we do? It’s just exactly the same as with a cord stump, the same process. And what actually happens at the umbilicus is that it’s a bacterial action. A little bacteria actually eat away at the cord, so sometimes you can get a little bit of white pussy stuff and a little redness and if that happens it’s not really a problem, it’s just the action. In the old days until maybe 10 years ago, parents used to be recommended all sorts of antiseptic things around their babies base of the cord, but if you do that, all you’re doing is delaying the separation, because it’s killing the bacteria action that separates it.

Ashley: Oh, that’s good to know!

Sarah Buckley: Yes, so if parents are concerned with any separation, if it’s getting a bit mucky, I suggest putting a little bit of breast milk on it, it’s got a lot of antibacterial properties in it. But those things are not specific to the lotus birth; it’s really the process of separation that happens with the stump or the whole cord and placenta.

Ashley: Thank you for sharing all that, it is such an interesting thing, I’d never heard about it until a few months ago and then I was just like, “oh my goodness”! I was just blown away. It’s amazing how we can just find information now from around the world.

Sarah Buckley: There is one more thing about lotus birth that I want to share. I think one of the great gifts about lotus birth is that it slows everyone down during those early days and it gives the baby a very gentle transition. The great thing about having the placenta attached is you can’t go and take your baby shopping! So there’s a period of time you have to stay home with the baby, so you do get this very precious and still atmosphere. And you can almost see the baby coming more and more into their body as the placenta drops more and more away. And as they go from the placenta into the baby in an energetic way. It’s really a beautiful thing to witness. And it really helps parents to realize the baby is in a state of transition and physically it’s true, and emotionally and spiritually true as well. And it helps parents to honor that, to be still with that and to allow that to happen. I think it helps the baby to drink deeply of that time, of that stillness.

Ashley: That is very necessary. And I actually just did a lot of shopping (for my wedding) and I was thinking this is definitely not what you want to do right after having a baby.

Sarah Buckley: That’s right, but you know most people take their babies out when they’re two days old, and that’s way too much energy for a newborn baby that’s around. The baby really needs quietness and stillness for the big transition they’re going through.

Sarah Buckley on Undisturbed Birth

Ashley: Well, thank you. So, I want to ask you too about undisturbed birth. I love how in your book you approach this. Rather than being unassisted really, it’s just about being undisturbed. So even if you’re with a doctor or in a hospital, working with your environment to provide as much privacy and kind of like a meditative state as much as you can to the mother and then the baby. So, tell me a little bit more about how you arrived here from your practice because it’s so different obviously from the medical right now.

Sarah Buckley: Well, I did my obstetric, family practitioner obstetrics in a really small town in New Zealand. And it was interesting and I was looking at the different figures yesterday, I did another interview on New Zealand radio, and in the hospital I was at it had the lowest c-section rates in the country.

Ashley: Really?!

Sarah Buckley: Yeah, it’s kind of rural and we had a very high rate of normal births and not a lot of interventions. But what I did notice in working there were those who had the least interventions were those who gave birth at night when there weren’t many people around and attended by midwives. And then I was fortunate to support some friends who were giving birth at home and I could really look at the difference in the quality of experience between hospital birth and home birth and I could see that there was something different about the emotional experience particularly. And I thought, yes that’s what I’d like for myself. And I attended home birth myself as a practitioner. Although I guess you’d have to say I had my first baby at home and then after that I attended home births as a practitioner. And so then I had my second, third and fourth babies and really just reflecting on my experience especially with my fourth baby, how easy it is to disturb the emotional atmosphere of birth. And so I am coming from it with that sort of experiential perspective. And then as you can read in my work what I’ve looked into is the hormones of birth and how intricate and elaborate the orchestration of birth is and how sensitive and vulnerable it is by outside interference. One of my touchstones in this is actually evolution. I think about the human species, actually we are all derived from mammals, we are all mammalian species. And mammals have been around for almost 200 million years and for all of that time, and for almost all of human pre-history as well mammal births have taken place in the wild. And that’s tricky! That’s really tricky because there are no shelters and a mammal giving birth in the wild has to be incredibly sensitive to her surroundings, and particularly to the presence of danger. She’s giving birth, she can’t move easily, she’s got this smell, the amniotic fluid and the blood with this tasty little morsel at the end that any predator would love to gobble up! So on evolutionary terms, what has evolved for the safety of the birth is the laboring mother’s sensitivity to her environment, to the presence or absence of danger. And you can see that in a human mother giving birth in any setting as well. She may seem that she’s in another state of consciousness, but she’s very aware of anything pertaining to her safety or her baby’s safety.

Ashley: Right.

Sarah Buckley: So this in-built instinct for danger, or for this incredible radar, incredible sensitivity to that is really important in labor. And what happens for any animal in the wild is they have a sense of danger and again imagine your great-, great-, greats grandmother, your 500 greats, giving birth in the wild and just a strange shape on the horizon or a rattle in the bushes and a strange smell, any of those things signal to her that she could be in danger, that there could be a predator around.

Ashley: Right.

Sarah Buckley: Just to let you know that predators aren’t necessarily members of other species either, I mean there’s a lot of baby snatching that goes on! So, she even has to be careful of that so she really needs to be contained, with relatives of hers, member of her very close social group. She has this feeling of danger that it’s going to activate this flight or fight mechanism, the sympathetic nervous system, the epinephrine/nor epinephrine hormones. And what will happen is it will divert blood to her major muscle groups, when I do my talks this is what I call the sabre-toothed tiger effect. And that’s the part of her body she needs for the fight or flight, or if her body is getting ready to help her to run away, which is what she would need to do. Basically that blood has to come from somewhere and it comes from uterus and baby because the mother actually decides that the trade-off is worthwhile in the short term and that the uterus and baby can go without the full volume of blood for that short time while mom is running away. Because that obviously increases her odds of survival and the baby’s chance of survival. But then evolutions expectations are that she’ll find a safe place and that the whole process will start all over again. So, the whole system is designed for her sensitivity to danger, her activating the fight or flight reflex and then cessation of that reflex and continuation of labor and birth. In our culture what we do is we put women into very alien environments that would trigger this reflex in any birthing mammal. We have people that we don’t know doing intrusive and invasive things to the woman. Strange smells, strange noises, and like I said, any mammal would activate their flight or fight reflex in that situation. And we know from studies done in the 1980s that women who have high levels of this whole epinephrine have longer labors because their labor has switched off and they have higher levels of fetal distress on fetal heart rate monitors. So that’s exactly what is happening, we are putting women in these foreign environments and we are activating these fight or flight reflex and they are having difficulty giving birth because the blood is going to their major muscle groups and coming away from their baby. And also what happens when their fight or flight reflex is down, it inhibits the hormones of labor, the processes of labor. So, a mother in the wild needs that as well. So those two things that are the most common complications of labor in our culture are fetal distress and slow labors and they both in my mind are related to the anxiety that women have in labor because we are not providing what I call physiological conditions. We are not providing undisturbed atmosphere for labor and birth. And it’s hard to measure these things, and we don’t have a lot of research in this area because the basic physiology, there’s not a lot of money in research! But also the data I look at is the home birth, because it’s her natural environment, because that’s where her natural conditions are and she’s much less likely to have an activation of these reflexes. In 1995 there was a huge home birth study published in the British Medical Journal, I think it was 5000 women involved in that and the cesarean rate among them was 3.7%! The message I take from that is when you provide a woman with the atmosphere, an understood atmosphere the chance of a normal birth is almost 10 times higher according to those figures.

Ashley: So, what is it that when women are preparing for birth, what do you really want them to know at the heart of it?

What Dr. Sarah Buckley Wants You to Know

Sarah Buckley: I think two things really, I think there’s external preparation and then there’s the internal preparation. And the external preparation is privatizing your care in that environment to make sure that the birth is as undisturbed as possible. And when I talk about undisturbed birth, I am not talking about unassisted birth, I am not saying there should be nobody there, or we should all go birth in a cave. What I’m saying is that we need that awareness, and it is highly possible to have that sort of birth in any situation. Michele O’dent set up a birthing clinic in a hospital in France where the women were observed with two-way mirrors. A midwife can be very skilled at knowing what’s happening for a woman in labor without disturbing her. And that could also include all sorts of situations, but it’s truly about awareness of the need for un-disturbance. And being aware of the implications and the complications of disturbing the woman in labor. So, setting up a situation and in my book I’ve actually got a long list, or a list of suggestions for un-disturbing birth. But you could say that’s sort of the external circumstances. The internal circumstances are equally important because I talk about how important it is that the laboring woman feels private and safe and unobserved during labor, but she needs to feel safe on this really deep emotional, primal level. We are talking the fight or flight reflex so that is not activated. So, she might need to do some internal work, she might need to do some work on fear around birth. There is a lot of fear around birth in our culture, as you probably aware. So, it’s quite a big job for a pregnant woman to protect herself for that. I actually think it’s incredibly harmful and self-perpetuating aspect of our culture. We only tell each other bad stories and a pregnant woman and a woman in labor is very sensitive and protective of her baby. And there are those fearful, awful stories and they can get in quite deeply into her psyche. So, I really suggest putting some work into the positive images of birth, positive stories of birth. Exploring fears around birth, and not just for herself, but for her partner as well and everyone who is attending the birth as well. I love what Jeanine Parvati Baker says, it’s going to be hard for the woman to give birth unless everyone in the birth room has confidence and faith in the birth.

Ashley: I think it’s very powerful what everyone brings to the table.

Sarah Buckley: That’s right. And all the basic nuts and bolts of course, good nutrition, healthy body, physical practices, yoga, exercise, that sort of thing. These basic things that I’m hoping women will have in their lives anyway. I think what pregnancy does is it really calls us into our bodies more and I hope women really have that space to listen to the call and to rest, because I think we do need a lot of rest during pregnancy. But also activity is very important that we have our bodies active as well: the blood flowing, the oxygen going to our babies.

Ashley: Well, that’s wonderful! And so much good information right there on the two things that women can consider. So, thank you. Is there anything else that you want to share before we call it a day? I really want think we covered what I was really looking for.

Sarah Buckley: Yeah, this whole thing about the time after birth, I think that once the baby’s born, that’s it. But, in talking a little bit about lotus birth and not cutting the cord, that time after the birth is actually critical in evolutionary terms, because that’s where it happens. From Mother Nature’s perspective it’s great, of course she wants a live mother and a live baby, like we all do. But from Mother Nature’s perspective she puts in all these extra systems and mechanisms to assure the long-term survival. Specie survival is about not only surviving the birth, but surviving and thriving and going into having more offspring who survive and thrive. And then going on…For example if breastfeeding didn’t work, and if lactation didn’t work in other mammals, species wouldn’t survive, no matter how successful the pregnancy and the birth might be. We have all these in-built systems that insure, to whatever size possible, the success of breastfeeding and success of attachments between the mother and the baby. And that the foundation of that begins in pregnancy with the alteration of the mother’s hormones and their bodies, the breasts getting ready. It also increases during labor and birth because of all the hormones that I talk about in my book, the prolactin, adrenaline, oxytocin, epinephrine, all involved in bonding actually and the attachment between mother and baby. And they all reach these extreme levels very late in labor when the mother is pushing the baby out or in the hour after birth. So, one way of looking at it is to say that the purpose of labor and birth is not just to have a healthy, surviving alive mother and baby, but to ensure that long-term survival of both by insuring that success of breastfeeding and attachment. And that happens that hour after birth, so that baby is primed to be alert, primed to be in exactly the right situation, the right physical space to begin to breastfeed. And every mammalian baby knows how to find the breast and latch on itself. We’ve sort of forgotten this and just stick the baby on the breast, but all mammalians know how to do that. And when the baby itself initiates breastfeeding generally there’s very, very low chance of breastfeeding problems. What the baby needs for that is understood skin-to-skin contact. Not even taken away for weighing or measuring, there is no reason to take the baby away for at least the first hour after birth. They can observe the baby on the mother’s belly. There was a study where they took the baby away for weighing and measuring and it disrupted all the baby’s sequence, and all the baby’s pre-breastfeeding behaviors. It also important for the mother that the baby’s skin-to-skin because what’s happening at that time is the mother… it’s not just the baby who is making this life or death adjustment to life outside the womb, at that time, but the mother is also making life or death adjustments. Which has to do with the 9 months she becomes more and more pregnant and then suddenly she becomes not pregnant. And the major adjustment is the peeling off of the placenta from the uterine wall. And that leaves a big raw wound that has to be sealed off. And what helps that to seal off is the oxytocin that she produces as she holds and cuddles and the baby’s behavior on the breast that helps seal off and contract the uterus and seal off the bleeding. The baby being skin-to-skin with the mother helps save the baby’s life and save the mother’s life as well. It’s really a big plug for not taking the baby away for any reason, there is really just not necessary.

Ashley: You did a great job of explaining in your book about all the… the orchestra that goes on in your body and the synchronicity between the baby’s body and the mothers as it comes out and as you have that immediate bonding time afterwards. And showing that it sets you up to be… to really thrive as a mother and child together. It’s just amazing. So, I was really impressed with how the journey through that really affects more than just that moment and the story you carry with you. Which is just incredible!

Sarah Buckley: And in our culture, I think we need it more than ever because it’s not really an easy job with a young baby in our culture. We need the best possible start that we can get and I think we are moving towards it, there is an initiative called the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.

Ashley: Yes, I’ve heard of it.

Sarah Buckley: Yes, so that comes from the World Health Organization and it’s to increase breastfeeding rates, but it also is incredibly beneficial as far as when the baby attachment goes through, as it’s all about keeping the baby with the mother, supporting breastfeeding, supporting the mother and baby in those early hours and days.

Ashley: That is wonderful. Well, thank you so much Sarah, I really appreciate your time, I know you are a busy woman! I do appreciate your time and all the wonderful work that you do.

Sarah Buckley: Thank you. Sarah Buckley to Interview Main Page