Tips On Preventing Sibling Fights
Melbourne Doula Bethany Meakin‘s Parenting Story
About Bethany Meakin 澳洲育儿故事主人公简介: 伯达妮·米金
Marital Status 婚姻状况： Married 已婚
Children 孩子：2 kids (ages 6 and 8) 2个孩子（分别6岁，8岁 ）
City 居住城市：Melbourne 澳大利亚，墨尔本
Occupation 职业：Doula 专业陪产师
Company 公司及网站： Belly Beans 六甲豆和 Childbirth Education Australia 澳洲妊娠分娩教育中心
Biggest Parenting Challenge 育儿中最大的挑战是什么：Fear of the unknown is really tricky 对于未知的恐惧
Self Care 如何忙里偷闲放松自己：Friends, gardening, cooking, bush walking, painting朋友，园艺，烹饪，丛林徒步，画画
Kids’ Favourite Games 孩子最喜欢的游戏：大富翁（Monopoly）， 快乐家庭（Happy Families），猜猜我是谁（Guess Who）， Hangman（悬挂的人）， 一张牌（Uno），钓鱼 （Go Fish），Down the Canal（探索产道）
Kids’ Favourite Dish 孩子最喜欢的菜肴：三文鱼（Salmon），意大利面 (Pasta)
Proudest Thing 孩子让你最骄傲的是什么： 两个女儿之间的手足亲情The relationship my daughters have with each other
Kids’ Favourite Trip 孩子最喜欢的一次旅行：昆士兰州的黄金海岸 (The Gold Coast in Queensland)
Tips for Travelling with Kids 给带孩子旅行父母的建议：一定要有耐心。千万不要期望太多。Be patient. Lower the expectations of your kids keeping up with you.
Parenting Tips 育儿经：相信你自己 (trust yourself)
Bethany Meakin is a doula, from Melbourne, Australia. She’s got two businesses, Belly Beans and Childbirth Education Australia.
Belly Beans, a doula service based in Melbourne. It gives support to women and their partners and children through pregnancy, labour, birth and early parenting.
伯达妮是来自澳大利亚墨尔本的一位专业陪产师。她目前有两家公司，六甲豆(Belly Beans)和澳洲妊娠分娩教育中心(Childbirth Education Australia)。
六甲豆是位于墨尔本的一家陪产师服务机构。这家机构给予女人和她们的伴侣还有他们将出生的宝宝，妊娠以及分娩的各种情况还有菜鸟爸妈最大的支持。澳大利亚分娩教育中心为准爸妈们提供高标准的拉玛泽（Lamaze technique） 分娩教育课程。课程包括了产前教育，分娩知识教育和母乳哺育教育。目前提供课程解析，讲习班或者翻译版的网络教程。
Childbirth Education Australia, a short course for couples to prepare for welcoming their baby using the Lamaze technique, the top standard for childbirth education. Classes include Prenatal, Birthing and Breastfeeding Classes. Interpreted classes and workshops or online tutorials delivered in the local dialect are also available.
Supporting pregnant women is Bethany’s greatest passion, she loves to help women to grow their confidence in their mothering capabilities and to ultimately trust themselves to birth their way and to unlock their intuition.
Bethany is a woman of many talents, she loves to cook and bake birthday cakes, paint, sew costumes and create. She even makes soaps from a sculpture she made in the pregnant female form. See above youtube clip on Placenta Printing!
采访人：Annie Deng – 安妮·邓
Annie Deng安妮·邓，澳洲顶级营销战略家, 高级翻译, 澳洲通, 中澳混血妈妈，移民澳大利亚十多年，现任澳洲投资房贷 Mortgage Corp市场总监。Annie采访来自各行各业的澳大利亚西人父母，从普普通通的清洁工，老师，工程师到赫赫有名的公司老总及澳洲政府官员, 通过精彩动人，富有感染力的澳洲育儿故事为中国和世界介绍展示澳洲淳朴的风土人情，丰富多彩的生活及澳洲经商之道。让广大华人客观全面了解澳大利亚教育，礼仪，生活，风光，商务及生意经。
Join Annie Deng, a top marketing strategist and storyteller as she brings your story to life to educate the Chinese people about Australia and raise your business profile within the Chinese community.
Thanks to Annie’s big network of highly influential people both here in Australia and in China, including influencers with millions of followers, your parenting story and business will get the opportunity to be exposed to millions of Chinese shoppers who are eager to open their wallet for quality Aussie products and services.
Book an interview with Annie today and have your business promoted to millions of Chinese people without pushy sales techniques or faceless selling.
Parenting Story Interview Transcript 访谈纪录
Annie Deng: Tell me a little bit about you and your family
Bethany Meakin: 我是个专业陪产师，来自澳大利亚墨尔本。我两个公司：Belly Beans 和 Childbirth Education Australia。我的婚姻在大部分时候都非常幸福，除了那每月一次的问题，对吧？哈哈！我有两个可爱的女儿：Kamryn和Talia。Kamryn今年八岁。Talia六岁。
Bethany Meakin: I’m a doula, from Melbourne, Australia. I’ve got two businesses, Belly Beans and Childbirth Education Australia. I’m happily married, most of the time, except that once a month, right? Lol! I’ve got two girls: Kamryn and Talia. Kamryn is 8. Talia is 6.
Annie Deng: What kind of a girl is Kamryn? Kamryn是一个怎么样的女孩儿呢？
Bethany Meakin: Kamryn是一只书虫，并且痴迷于小动物。她花了她生命中最初的几年假装自己是一只小狗，你必须喊她的动物名。她三到四岁的时候开始角色扮演成一只小狗，她和小狗一样舔着碗里的水，或者这样那样的模仿行为，非常滑稽可爱。她沉迷在自己的角色扮演中，她的妹妹也被她深深影响。我们觉得如果Talia先出生，她会喜欢跳舞，音乐和唱歌。
Bethany Meakin: Kamryn is a bookworm, she’s animal crazy. She spent the first few years of her life pretending to be a dog, you had to call her animal names. She role-played being a dog. She’d even lick water out of a bowl, that kind of thing, very funny and cute as a three and four year old. Lost in the world of role-play. Her younger sister was highly influenced by that. We think that if Talia was born first, she loved dancing, music, and singing.
She’s the most delightful little creature, a beautiful big sister. Very caring and very aware of other people’s feelings. Very aware of my feelings which I find really fascinating, really in tune with me. She entertains herself, she’s very happy to play with two tiny little toys for a whole day. She’s just the most easy-going little girl, a delight. Her sister is hilarious. She’s the second child so a little bit more emotionally needy. She struggles to fall asleep at night, requiring a lot of patience, love her, hold her, talk to her and reassure her. They’re the best of friends, they absolutely love each other.
Annie Deng: They’re very different? 她们非常的不同吗？
Bethany Meakin: 她们两个的性格非常不一样，却喜欢玩相同的东西。她们都不是喜欢争强好胜的孩子， 所以不怎么争吵。可能等她们大一些会不一样，生活总会有不如意的时候，不过目前来说一切风平浪静，顺心如意。
Bethany Meakin: They are very different but they play the same things. they’re not competitive with one another, they just don’t have that edge to them. I’m sure that will come and life will look unfair to them at some point. At the moment, we’re in a really nice space of everything being easy.
Annie Deng: Quite a few of my friends have recently had a second child and are all expressing concerns over the older child being jealous of the younger one. And you don’t have that problem?
Bethany Meakin: 很幸运，我没有遇到这样的问题。我发现两个孩子之间的年龄差距越是小，父母对大孩子诸如此类的期望值就会比较少。这是我所看到的：当你有两个年龄跨度不大的孩子时，你对孩子表现出来的行为和态度会比较宽容，没有过多的要求。然而当你有一个年龄在3-6岁的孩子时，你会理所当然把他们当成一个大人来对待。你会希望他们不要去打，碰那个刚出生的婴儿，你甚至希望他们理解作为母亲的辛苦。比如他们应该理解你很累啦， 不要在那敲敲打打的。 可是，他们并没有那样的能力。两三岁的孩子就有嫉妒的情绪，并且很容易就因为某些事情开始嫉妒时，对于他们来说控制这样的情绪确实非常困难的。当你有老二时，家长可以帮助老大发掘他们的爱心，关心，助人这些优秀品德的潜力，抓住一切孩子表现好的时候，多赞扬孩子。这全凭父母对待孩子的态度。千万要注意你对孩子们运用的语言，特别是对哥哥姐姐们。你对他们的期望很可能会导致他们远离这个家庭，例如“不要碰！ 不要吵！”诸如此类的语言要尽量避免。或者你可以试着和大孩子玩过家家的游戏，让他们给娃娃洗个澡，换个衣服，然后要因为他们如此爱惜娃娃的表现而表扬他们。其实有很多事情家长可以和孩子一起做。当然，因为每个孩子性格上明显的独特性和复杂性，有些方法可行，而有些却不行。我觉得我就是比较幸运的，因为我的女儿们非常合拍。我自己已经花了很多时间在她们身上了，然而在我们当今的社会里，很不幸的事很多母亲过早地把孩子交给别人看管，这样使情况更糟。
Bethany Meakin: No, fortunately. I find that the closer the age gap, the less expectation the parents have of the older child. This is what I have seen: when you have two children who are close together in age, you have less of an expectation of the older child and the way they behave and what they do. When you have a child between the age of 3-6, you look at that child and think they’re a grown up, your infant is born and you expect your big one to not hit, touch & understand the tiredness of a mum, that they can’t play right now, to understand what you’re going through. They don’t have that capacity. Jealousy in some young toddlers has developed. They can get jealous very quickly, and that can be a very difficult thing for them to navigate. But when you have an older child, there can be that window that they are very caring, nurturing and helpful. There’s lots of positive reassurance. It all depends on the parent’s attitude of the child. Being aware of the language you use around your child, especially the older one and the expectations you have of that older child can send them out of the family, push them out: don’t touch, don’t be noisy, those things. Or you can do the opposite, role-playing with the older one, letting them have a dolly to bathe and change, congratulating them on loving it. It’s a lot to do with the parents. There’s obviously complexities with every child’s personality. Somewhere it works, and somewhere it doesn’t. I think I’m just really lucky with my girls that they get along. I’ve spent a lot of time with them, and that’s often a struggle in our society where mums are pulled away from their babies really early. That can cause some struggles.
Annie Deng: What have you done and say to make them such great friends? 你是如何做到让她们彼此成为这么好的朋友的？
Bethany Meakin: 我觉得我是一个非常积极向上的人。我一直以来的梦想就是成为一名母亲。我的丈夫一直想要孩子，他想要两个，而我一直想要四个。当我们想要第一个孩子时，我们希望他或者她可以有兄弟姐妹。刚开始我们并没有预见我们第二个孩子的降生，我们把第一个孩子视为这个家庭中非常重要的一部分，然而我们发现一件很重要的事，那就是要给Kamryn增添一个弟弟或妹妹。我记得我当时在想要给我丈夫生一个儿子，然而却想给我女儿一个妹妹。如果我们有了一个男孩和一个女孩，我就可以和女儿组队，而我的丈夫可以和儿子组队，那我们就可以分别带领他们去做一些只属于“男生”或只属于“女生”的活动了。当我们第二个女儿降生的时候，有一种惊喜的感觉“噢！不是一个男队一个女队了！”但是我们马上意识到Kamryn有了个最好的朋友，她有个伴了，而我有我丈夫，他有我。对我来说最明显的是，我一直以来都在称赞作为一个美丽的大姐姐的Kamryn，并且会一直告诉Talia她很幸运拥有了一位这么好的大姐姐。同样的，我会不停地和Kamryn说“你的妹妹可以和你一起玩你以前玩的游戏是不是很棒啊！你的妹妹一直都在模仿你并且想成为你这样的人是不是很棒呀！” 我一点都不会吝啬我对孩子们的赞美，不会指出任何人的不是，然而我却会经常自我反省。
Bethany Meakin: I think I am quite a positive person. I’ve always wanted to be a mum. My husband always wanted children, he always wanted two, I always wanted four. We wanted a child and then we wanted a sibling for our first child. We didn’t see the second child for us, we saw our child as a really important part of the family, obviously, but we found it really important to give Kamryn a sibling. I remember thinking that I wanted a boy for my husband but a sister for my daughter. If we had a boy and a girl, I would team up with the daughter and he would team up with the son and we would have that kind of life where we only did boy-girl activities. When we had a second girl, there was that surprise of ‘oh, we don’t have one of each!’, but we were able to recognise that Kamryn had a best friend and she had somebody, I had my husband, he had me. It was just really obvious to me. I’ve always praised Kamryn on being a beautiful big sister and always told Talia how lucky she is to have a wonderful big sister. The same with Kamryn, ‘isn’t that great that your little sister is playing that older game with you, isn’t it great that she wants to copy and be like you’. I’m quite vocal in the house of pointing that out. I try not to point out the negatives in anyone, but I point out the negatives in myself all the time!
And I tell them your sister is your number one, she’s going to be there your whole life. If you can’t get along with your sister, then your life’s going to be tricky. At every opportunity, we remind them of how special they are to each other and that they will be in each other’s lives when they move out of home. Being close in age, they really get along well, very interested in each other. We’re very lucky that ours don’t fight.
Annie Deng: When you’re busy with Talia and Kamryn wants attention, what do you do? 当你在忙着围着Talia转的时候，Kamryn也想要得到你的关注，这个时候你会怎么做？
Bethany Meakin: 我的姑娘们彼此只相差20个月。我把Talia装在婴儿背带里背着着因为她一直很难入睡。当你只有一个孩子的时候，孩子喝完奶睡着了以后，你唯一想做的就是耸耸肩，坐下，打开电视，或者阅读一本杂志，享受着宝宝睡着后的时刻。然而，当你有两个孩子的时候你却无法这么做。我本来是要把Talia放在床上睡觉的， 我有一个小床和一个双人婴儿推车。然而最后我却把她背在了身上。早上背着她然后夜晚放下来。她在婴儿背带里，可以随时闻到我的味道，看到我的样子，听到我的声音，感觉到我的体温，并在需要时喝母乳，那样我便可以去照料我的大孩子了，多么的两全其美。我的Kamryn是一个聪明的孩子，她十个月就会走路了，在她一岁半的时候已经学会自己上厕所了。她不是一个难带的孩子，要求不高，很容易夜不情绪化。 非常好带。我毕生的目标就是成为一位母亲，我也觉得这是一件任何女人都可以做到的世界上最棒的事。
Bethany Meakin: My girls are only 20 months apart. I carried Talia in a sling, she’s always been difficult to get to sleep. When your first baby falls asleep on you after you breastfeed, you just kind of shrug your shoulders and sit there, pop the TV on, read a magazine, enjoy your baby being asleep on you… But when you’ve got two of them you can’t do that. I would put Talia down to sleep, and I had the cots and double stroller I would use but I ended up just wearing her, putting her on in the morning and taking her off at night. I have a sling, in the pouch she went, tied her on. She had access to my chest, she could smell me, see me, hear me, feel me, breastfeed and I could attend to my toddler. It was perfect for me. I also have a very bright first baby. Kamryn was walking by ten months, she was potty trained at a year and a half, she did it on her own. She wasn’t a difficult, high-demand, intense, emotional baby. She was just very easy. My whole life goal was to be a mum one day, I think it’s the best thing anyone could do.
Annie Deng: What did you do before the birth of your daughters? 你生孩子之前是做什么的？
Bethany Meakin: 生孩子之前，我做了五年的保姆。有时会住在孩子的家里。工作中，我发现孩子在和父母在一起和不在一起时的不同表现。妈妈们最挣扎的是她们必须经历和宝宝的分离的内疚感，还有就是离开宝宝去上班时候的痛苦，社会的压力。作为一个保姆，我会看到很多妈妈们错过的宝宝们的第一次。例如宝宝迈出的第一步，当然我并不会告诉孩子的父母。我觉得我很有母性，那不是学来的，是遗传的，家庭生活环境的影响。。。。。。有些女人明白自己的母亲对自己的影响，然后她们试图做出一些改变，或者，她们觉得自己的母亲聪明能干的，所以想变成像她们一样的母亲。我觉得母亲对我们有巨大的影响力，在一些文化中，祖母也有这样的影响力。工作中，看到了很多家庭方方面面，好的育儿方式和不好的，学到了很多，得到很多启示。我看见过一些妈妈对自己的宝宝十分严厉，我就会想，“他们还那么小！” 我孩子一生下来我就爱上她们了，我不认为世界上会有比她们更重要的事需要我去做，所以我不会觉得想要离开她们。有些妈妈因为工作和忽视宝宝。在澳大利亚，加入一个母亲群是很好的事，可以互相学习，不过试图不要和别人比，因为每个人都不一样，各有各的好各有各的难处。 我想要每分每秒都和我的孩子在一起。我认为这样可能有时会影响婚姻。所以可能这方面我做的并不好。有时候，你本来很想和丈夫出去约个会，可是你却累垮了，还有没孩子之前的二人世界因为孩子而不一样了。
Bethany Meakin: I had worked as a nanny for five years. I lived both in and out of homes with families. What I witnessed was the behaviour of the baby with their parents versus the behaviour of the baby without their parents. I noticed the difference. The struggles that mums would go through leaving their babies, the guilt and the layers of hurt they experienced leaving their babies going to work and feeling the pressures of society. As a nanny, I got to see babies doing things that their mums missed out on. Their mums missed out on their first steps which I never told the parents because that’s just something you don’t want to take away from them. I’ve always just been in tune with that side of myself. I don’t think that’s something you can learn, I think that’s something you can understand and unlock within yourself. I think that’s in us, in us culturally, impacted by our own parents, how our mothers mothered us… Some women understand the impact of their mother on them and they try and do something different because that wasn’t great for them, or they think their mother was brilliant for them and they try to replicate that. I think that our mothers are huge influences on us, and in some cultures, grandmothers and things like that. But for me, seeing families from inside the walls was just such an awakening. I just saw what worked and what didn’t. I saw some mothers being very harsh on their kids and I would just think, ‘they’re so tiny!’ I fell in love with mine and I didn’t think there was something more important to be doing so I didn’t feel pulled away from them. Some women feel pulled away from their children with work. In Australia, you get a mother’s group and that was brilliant, just seeing other women doing their own thing and trying not to compete with that group of women but understand that we’re all doing it differently and everyone had a different vibe. We’re all just struggling in the background. I wanted to be with my babies every second. I think that sometimes can affect a marriage, so maybe I didn’t do that so well. Sometimes you want to go out with your husband but you’re just too tired. All of that stuff and how you used to be together but your priorities shift.
Annie Deng: You mentioned that while you were a nanny you saw kids and parents missing out on each other. I actually think it’s also important for kids to be independent and sending them to childcare is one of the ways they learn to be independent.
Bethany Meakin: 我相信它有一定的好处。不过我做不到。我没有准备好离开我的孩子。因为我们搬了家，那时我也没有工作，所以按照逻辑来讲我不能说：“离开我的孩子去工作是合情合理的。”大部分我接触过的妈妈都有“返回工作岗位”的压力，无论是在孩子的8个月也好，一岁也好，十八个月也好，都有这样的问题。在澳洲，有些妈妈在生完孩子后会选择回去工作，因为大多数家庭都有两份收入。然而我们发现对于一些妈妈来说尝试着平衡工作和家庭两者的关系是非常辛苦的。我觉得那样是不对的。在澳大利亚，妈妈们在孩子很小的时候就回到工作岗位。我们的确有很好的托儿所，儿童保育中心，系统都很健全，他们可以帮我们照顾孩子，但是那是无法和母亲这个角色相提并论。儿童保育中心可以教会你孩子一些东西，然而我觉得我们低估了自己教导他们的能力。 我们不够重视我们自己作为母亲的价值。当然，你女儿喜欢托儿所，你免去了送孩子去托儿所孩子抱着你的腿哭喊着不要你走的分离之痛。但是，我在当保姆的时候看到的是爸爸妈妈错失了那么多和宝宝在一起开心快乐的时刻。时间无法倒流，那些时刻去了就不会再有了。我觉得为了赚钱而失去那些宝贵的时光是不值得的。特别是在孩子去学校之前最初的那六年…在学校里，他们长大了并且准备好了离开父母一段很短的时间。我觉得澳洲整个社会，整个风气，就是妈妈们有种无形的压力，她们觉得她们就必须要在孩子还很幼小的时候就要回去工作。因为每个人都这么做，大家觉得理所当然，很正常的。当然人和人是不一样的。我可能是的妈妈群里唯一个没有回去上班的妈妈。当然那并不可一概而论，因为当时的我准备我陪产师的事，同时我的两个孩子相隔太近，我也没有时间去找工作。有些国家，孩子生下来后就跟妈妈一直在一起，而有些母亲则早早的返回职场，没有什么对与错，只是看什么方式最合适你们的家庭。
Bethany Meakin: I see benefits. For me, it never felt right. I didn’t feel ready to leave my kids. Because we’ve moved country, I didn’t have a job to go back to so I couldn’t logically say, ‘it makes sense to separate with my baby to go back to work’. Most women I work with have a ‘return to work’ pressure point, whether it’s at 8 months, a year, 18 months. In our culture, we have women returning to work because most households have two incomes and find that for some women, the balance of trying to work that out is a struggle. I felt like that wasn’t right. We, as a culture, separate from our children too young. I think that we have really good systems in place where we can rely on other people to look after our children and care for them well. But there’s nothing like mum. The childcare could teach your daughter how to do certain things and I think we undervalue our ability to do that for ourselves. We don’t value the role of the mother as much as some things. Yes, your daughter enjoyed going to childcare and that appeals to your goals of not having to peel your child off your legs screaming and then go to work crying at your desk. But what I witnessed as a nanny was so many happy, joyful moments with babies and toddlers that their parents missed out on. You can never get that time back. I don’t think that the trade off with earning money was worthwhile missing out on those moments. The first six years of a child’s life before they go to school… At school, they’re ready to leave the parents and they get bigger and can leave for short periods of times. I think socially and culturally, we’re pressured to separate from our children younger than their emotional capabilities. It’s justified and it’s normal because Everyone does it. But everyone’s different. I think I’m the only one in my mum’s group that didn’t go back to work. I was doing my doula stuff and that’s very different, but it was also the two babies close together, I didn’t have that gap in between to put my head up and start looking around. Some cultures never separate mother and baby. Some do it early. Nothing’s right or wrong, it’s whatever works for your family.
Annie Deng: Haha, I go back to work because I feel I’m a better mum when I’ve been away from her for some time and I tend to spend more quality time with her after work.
Bethany Meakin: 那很好啊！我说的是那些因为离开了自己的孩子而感到内疚的母亲们，那样就很糟糕。我不会去评论那些选择把她们的孩子送去儿童保育中心的母亲，只要你可以找到一个很棒的中心又或者一个很好的保姆，又或是一个值得信赖的人去帮你照看你的孩子。但是对那些因为把孩子送走给别人照顾而为此感到非常挣扎和痛苦的妈妈们，我想对她们说“没事的”。换成我，我是无法想跟孩子早早分离所带来的创伤。我会很伤心。你常在Facebook上读到的那些因为回去工作而感到压力的母亲们，我很同情她们，我想说，“你真的一定要回去工作吗？” 如果你想和孩子呆在一起，为什么不从新审视一下你经济状况，生活方式。就我个人而言，我负担不起儿童保育的费用。你刚才所如果单独和你的孩子呆12个小时，你会受不了，可那不是你想要的生活，你认为的是生活在一个与大家在一起，并和家人一起分享我们孩子的成长的环境。老实说，如果要我在家和我的孩子们待在一起12个小时，我会感到有点受不了。老实说如果我和孩子单独呆上12个小时，我也会受不了的，我们需要与妈妈群接触，到儿童游乐场，和其他妈妈孩子们一起玩。。你需要和其他人接触，要不会觉得很孤独。比如说，如果你每天不在同一时间去在公园，去妈妈群，你会错过跟熟人打交道的机会。有时你可能觉得跟有的人合不来，那很正常， 你的生活经济状况跟别人不一样或者有不同的育儿理念。我发现到我的教育方式和他人是十分不同的，甚至和我的好朋友也是不同的。对于哺乳，我是随叫随到，宝宝就挂在我的胸前，她想吃我就喂，所以我感觉不管到哪儿，我的胸部一直暴露在外！有的妈妈会严格控制孩子的睡眠作息时间，我却不行！有时我觉得我是不是什么地方做错了？为什么我的宝宝无法在晚上9点入睡？为什么我没有和我的丈夫一起喝着红酒闲聊？我忍不住要和别人比较一下。
Bethany Meakin: That’s great! But I’m talking about the women who feel guilty about leaving their kids, and that’s awful. If you can find great childcare or a great nanny or a great person to look after your child.
There’s no judgement from me about women who choose to put their children in care, it’s the women who are struggling with it who I want to reach out to and say it’s okay. I can’t imagine the trauma I would have gone through if I had to separate from my child early on. It would have really upset me. The women who are feeling pressured to go back to work, you read it on Facebook all the time. I just feel for those women and think, ‘do you really have to go back?’. If your body is saying to you to stay, then look at your lifestyle, look at your finances. Me, personally, we couldn’t afford childcare. You talk about 12 hours alone with your child, that’s not the way you’re supposed to live lives, you’re supposed to live in community with everybody and family and share the raising of our children. To be honest, if I’m home with my children for 12 hours alone, I’m feeling a little crazy. You need to connect with mother’s groups, with playgroups, with group activities. You need to connect with other humans. There’s a lot of isolation, if you’re not going to the park at the same time each day, you miss familiar faces and it can be really hard to connect with other human beings. The same goes with mothers’ groups. You might turn up and find that socially and financially you feel very different, or your parenting style is very different. I found that my style was very different to the other mums, even my best friend. I breastfed on demand, I wandered around in a sling, I felt like my boob was out all the time! I had others that were on strict sleeping schedules and mine wasn’t doing that so I thought I was doing something wrong, why isn’t my baby asleep at 9 o’clock at night, why am I not having a glass of wine with my husband? We can’t help but compare.
Annie Deng: It’s hard not to compare sometimes even though we all know compare and despair！lol, What kind of mum would you say you are? 的确，虽然我们都知道跟别人比较是毫无意义的，有时还是难免会比较一些。你觉得你是什么类型的母亲？
Bethany Meakin: 我觉得我在大多数时候都是充满了爱，并且很有耐心。我对于孩子有点过度保护，而在当今社会中我不知道该如何划分这个平衡点。因此我不会让我的孩子们单独出去，她们只有六，七岁。如果她们要去别人的生日会，我会和她们一起去。然而我会给她们独自在后院玩耍的自由时间，而在那个时候我不会去管她们。我大部分的朋友都会说我是一个很棒的母亲，因为我知道如何做一个家长并且与我的孩子们相处的很融洽。我很重视母亲这个角色，我觉得养育孩子是件很重要的事。但是社会对母亲这个角色不够重视。
Bethany Meakin: I think I’m very loving, patient most of the time. I’m a little overprotective but I don’t know what that balance is in our society. So I don’t let our kids walk to the corner, they’re only six and seven. If they go to a birthday party, I go with them. But I do give them a lot of free time in the backyard when they go and play and I’m not watching them. Most of my friends would say I’m a great mum and in tune with my kids and I have something about being a parent. I don’t undervalue the role, I think it’s a very important thing to raise children. It’s undervalued in our society.
Annie Deng: How would your daughters describe you? 你的女儿们如何形容你？
Bethany Meakin: 她们觉得我是最棒的。她们经常会说，“我爱你比你爱我多。” 我觉得对她们来说我随时都在，我用心倾听，并以诚相待，她们会看到我的瑕疵，看到我的艰辛。她们知道我也只是个普通人。如果她们请求我做一些事，而我不想，我会说“我也是有感情的，现在不行。” 我提醒她们我不仅仅是一个母亲，我也像普通人一样有喜怒哀乐。回顾以往我发现我对我二女儿的降生有那点抑郁。那时我感到非常孤独，好像自己和自己，和宝宝，还有整个世界都有点脱节。当你第一个孩子降生时，你会得到很多鲜花，祝福卡片，亲朋好友的来访和问候。但是当你迎来你第二个孩子时，特别当她的出生时间又离你的第一个孩子特别近时，却没有人来恭贺你。这感觉太不一样了。我当时真的很痛苦，同时又因为大家对我二宝没有对大宝的那种兴趣和兴奋感而感到沮丧。我想我可能太敏感了。
Bethany Meakin: They think I’m the best. They often say, ‘I love you more than you love me’. I think that I’m available to them, I listen to them. I’m honest with them, they see my flaws, they see my struggles. They know that I am human. If they’re asking me to do something, I say, ‘I have feelings, too, not right now’. I stand in my skin and remind them that I’m not just a mum, I do have feelings like a real person. My oldest daughter is really in tune with my emotions. My second child, I look back and see that I had a little bit of depression with her, I felt very alone and detached to my baby, myself and the world. Your first baby comes and you get flowers, cards, visitors and people visiting. When your second baby comes along, especially if it’s quite close to your first one, no-one turns up. It’s just so different. I really struggled with that, I was very upset that the same level of interest and excitement wasn’t there for my second baby. I guess that I was just very sensitive to it.
Annie Deng: You sound like a mum every child would want to have! Have you ever felt when you’re not a good mum? 你感觉就是那个每个孩子都想要的母亲！你有没有过觉得你不是一个好妈妈的时候？
Bethany Meakin: 每天孩子们的就寝时间我都觉得我做得不好。在哄小女儿睡觉方面。在经济方面，我会和其他母亲去做比较，我会想我做出的这些牺牲，例如不回去工作，尽管我从来没有想过要会去工作。作为父母我们做出的所有选择都在影响我们的生活。如果我没有涉足陪产师这个行业并且继续做我之前的工作，我可能会拥有不一样的房子，不一样的车子。我想我唯一能证明给我孩子看的就是我自己。我完成了自己觉得最好的事情，我并没有为了赚钱而忽视她们。我为自己的选择而感到骄傲。有时候我感到非常脆弱无助，特别是对我做出的这些选择。那些喋喋不休的声音却回荡在我的脑海里，并不在其他任何人的脑海里。所有的女人都会那种“别人怎么看我”的声音在脑子里，这些声音会告诉她们“你没有你期望的那么瘦，那么有钱”。我爱我的孩子们，她们也爱我，我们家非常团结。跟很多夫妻一样，我和丈夫经历了很多起起落落，但是我没有太多遗憾。
Bethany Meakin: Every bedtime! Trying to get my little one to bed. Financially, I compare to other people and thinking about the sacrifice I made not to go to work even though I couldn’t see it any other way. Your choices as a parent impact your livelihood. If I had not stepped into the doula world and continued with my corporate career, we would have a different house, different cars. I think what I can provide my children: me. I did the best thing I could have done for myself, I didn’t trade myself for money. I feel really proud of myself for doing that. Sometimes I feel very vulnerable in that space, I feel very vulnerable in my choices. The chatter is only in my head, it’s not in anyone else’s head. All women have that chatter of what other people think of them, they’re not as thin or as rich as they want to be. I love my kids, they love me, our family unit is solid. My husband and I have been through our ups and downs, we’ve completed all the things normal couples do, but I wouldn’t have changed many things.
Annie Deng: What’s your proudest or happiest parenting moment? 你最值得骄傲的或者你最快乐的养育孩子的时刻是什么？
Bethany Meakin: 两个女儿之间的手足亲情。我每天都为她俩的友谊而骄傲，我会继续这样培养她们。我不知道这是否与我的教育有关，但我真切的关注到她们彼此爱护对方，以礼相待的样子。她们就是这么能够感知到其他人的情绪和感觉，我真的很喜爱这一点。
Bethany Meakin: The relationship my daughters have with each other. I feel so proud of turning up each day and nurturing that. I don’t know if that had a lot to do with me. I really focus on their love for each other and that they’re polite. They’re just aware of other people’s feelings, I love that.
Annie Deng: How do they show their love for each other? 她们彼此是如何表现对对方的爱？
Bethany Meakin: 他们毫不保留地展示对彼此的爱。每次送她们上学的时候，我会把她们一个一个送去自己的班级，然后亲吻道别，是那种“把整张嘴贴到脸上，弄得她们一脸口水特别的妈妈之吻”。姐妹也会拥抱并互相亲吻道别。当她们在放学时见到彼此后，会深深拥抱。她们之间渗透出的那种爱不是我时刻提醒她们的，而是发自她们内心的，很自然的表现。
Bethany Meakin: They’re affectionate with each other. When I drop them off at school, I take one to one classroom and give her a kiss goodbye and it’s always a mummy-squishy-face kiss, and she always hugs and kisses her sister goodbye. And when they see each other after school, they embrace. That love for each other that I’m not reminding them to do is so natural with them both.
Annie Deng: What’s the greatest challenge in raising your children? 在你教育和抚养孩子时遇到的最大挑战是什么？
Bethany Meakin: 对于未知的恐惧。例如为住在哪里，换哪所学校做决定。老大想要搬到乡下去，她想要小动物，农场，室外。你做的任何决定将影响到你周遭的一切。所以，作为一个决策者，有时候和做父母一样到处布满雷区。比如孩子的疫苗，教育，他们的交友状况。有些友谊你希望他们可以培养起来，因为你很喜欢对方的妈妈。反之，有些友谊你避之不及。所有这些情况都极为复杂和难处理。就拿家庭作业这件事来说，我不是一个喜欢给孩子很多家庭作业的母亲。我不认为大量的家庭作业会对小学生有好处。他们需要更多的时间去玩耍和休息。他们已经在学校接受了沉浸式的全面教育，我觉得那已经足够了。我喜欢晚上和她们一起读书。一年级的女儿常说“我不想做我的作业。”而我说“我没有要求你做这些作业，但你的老师要你做。”如果你不想做作业，你可以去学校告诉你的老师你不想做。她看了看我，合上了书，她没有做家庭作业。早晨起来，如果她意识到自己是班上唯一没写作业的人，她便会完成作业。就在最近，她非常不愿意做的老师布置的一个作业，那天老师说她不舒服，我提前去接她。后来发现第二天就是交作业的截止日期，她当时感到非常的焦虑。她意识到如果她是班上唯一个没有完成作业的孩子，她可能不好跟老师交代。所以那天晚上我们一起合作完成了这个作业，她非常享受这个过程。现在她直到自己必须做家庭作业，不需要我来提醒她。当然，这并不是说她就会每次认认真真地完成作业，问题还是有的。每次作业很多的时候我就会少跟她们安排一些课外活动。她们以前要练体操，游泳，搞得很忙，很累。
Bethany Meakin: Fear of the unknown is really tricky. Making decisions about where we live, changing schools. My older daughter wants to move to the country, she wants animals and farms and being outside. The decisions you make can really impact you with everything. Decision-making can be a minefield as a parent. Vaccination, education, friendships. There’s some friendships you want to nurture because you like the mum, or there’s other friendships you want to avoid. All those complexities. Homework, for instance, I’m not a massive homework mum. I don’t agree with it for primary school kids. There’s more benefit for kids to play and have downtime. They spend a lot of time at school academically immersed, and I think that’s enough. I love reading with them at nighttime, that’s a great activity. With my daughter in Grade 1, she was saying, ‘I don’t want to do my homework’, and I was saying, ‘I’m not asking you to do your homework, your teacher is! If you don’t want to do your homework, you go to your teacher in class and say you don’t want to do it’. She looked at me, closed the book and she didn’t do it. If she felt like she was singled out not having done it, she would do it in the mornings when she got to school. She had a project recently that she was reluctant to do. She was unwell at school and I picked her up. But it turned out the project was due the next day. She was very anxious. She learnt that she’d feel really vulnerable if she’s the only kid in the class who hasn’t done the project. We did it together as a family that night and she really enjoyed the process. She’s understood that for herself now rather than me telling her it. The homework battle is there. We stripped back all activities. They were doing gymnastics and swimming, they were both tired and we were rushing around.
Annie Deng: Do they get a lot of homework each night? 每天晚上她们都有很多家庭作业要做吗？
Bethany Meakin: They get a little bit each night and if they don’t do it, it builds up. The philosophy of homework is that parents can be involved in their learning, you can see what they’re up to in the classroom. I see it as my child has had enough academic play for the day, it’s creating animosity in the home because I’m barking at them to do homework. I would rather the home be pleasant. They play and they learn while they play, creating, drawing, making… That’s better than doing adding.
Annie Deng: What’s your routine? 你的日常作息是什么？
Bethany Meakin: I’ve never been a massive routine person. It really works for some people, especially those that have to leave for work at 8 o’clock in the morning. Kids thrive off guidelines and boundaries. We just go with the flow. We get up in the morning at about 7 o’clock, we put on some chill-out music in the morning and slowly get ready for the day. We have breakfast together, chat, we have a whiteboard with a list of things to do in the morning and they cross it off. One daughter will only do it in the exact order, the little one. Get up, have breakfast, get dressed, put your shoes on, make your bed, brush your teeth, brush your hair, pack your school bag, get your water bottle. Ask mummy and daddy if they need any help, play or read a book. They’re motivated in the morning to quickly get through the list so they can play or read. They’re old enough to read and work with the whiteboard. They get to rub it off, sometimes they write a little message to me and I’ll write one back.
It’s ride to school month, so we’re riding our bikes to school. Most often we drive to school. They get there at 8.45 in the morning and I pick them up at 3.15.
We get home at 3.30. They play in the playroom, they make games up, we’ve got monkey bars outside. No screen time. My husband will put the TV on all the time. If I’m not home, they’re allowed to watch TV, because it’s daddy day-care. I’m not crazy about it.
We normally have dinner around 6.30. Then we do books.
The kids are normally in bed between 7.30/8 o’clock. It’s books by 7.30, teeth, toilet, bed and they’re allowed to read a book in bed before they sleep. We give them baths every second night. We’re a little bit more relaxed with baths during the winter because it’s bloody cold! They’re in bed and Kamryn’s typically asleep within the hour and Talia’s asleep within two hours.
Annie Deng: Have you got any particular books, toys, or games that they love? 孩子一般喜欢什么书，玩具或者游戏
Bethany Meakin: 她们喜欢“大富翁”和一个叫“快乐家庭”的游戏。她们也喜欢牌类游戏。还有就是“猜猜是谁”的牌类游戏和“上吊的人”拼字游戏。
Bethany Meakin: They love Monopoly, a game called Happy Families. They love card games. All the normal Guess Who, Hangman.
Annie Deng: When did you start doing those games?
Bethany Meakin: “一张牌”（Uno）游戏是一个很不错的纸牌游戏，但这需要她们会数数。还有一个游戏叫做“钓鱼” （Go Fish）这个只需要她们来配对。这些是她们早期接触的一些游戏。现在我们开始玩更复杂一些的。有一个叫做“探索产道”（Down the Canal）的游戏，这是一个关于生产和生产中问题的游戏！Talia很喜欢玩这个，我妈妈也会经常和她们一起玩棋盘类游戏。
Bethany Meakin: Uno is a brilliant one, but they need to be able to count. There’s a game called Go Fish, which is just matching up pairs. We started with those things. Now we’re up to more complex games. There’s one called Down the Canal which is all about birth and birth questions! Talia loves to play that one. My mum plays board games with them a lot.
Annie Deng: What’s the kids’ favourite dish?
Bethany Meakin: Talia最爱意大利面。但是全家除了她没人爱吃，所以她很少有机会可以吃到。Kamryn最喜爱的菜是粉红鱼，其实就是三文鱼，她吃得很健康。她喜欢她的羽衣甘蓝，还有芦笋。她会吃所有的绿色蔬菜。Kamryn和Talia都不挑食。我爱烹饪并且总是在做菜。我们的花园里种满了蔬菜，我们会用家里种的菜， 当然是在蜗牛没有把它们啃光前提下！
Bethany Meakin: Talia’s is pasta. But no-one else in the house likes pasta so she seldom gets it. Kamryn’s favourite dinner is pink fish, which is salmon. She eats really healthy. She loves her kale, and asparagus. She’ll eat green vegetables. They’re both good eaters. I love cooking and cook all the time. We have veggies in the garden that we use when they haven’t been eaten by the snails!
Annie Deng: How do you cook the salmon?
Bethany Meakin: Just in a pan, crispy skin down, turn it over.
Annie Deng: How do you get the kids to eat veggies? 你用什么方法让你的孩子喜欢吃蔬菜的？
Bethany Meakin: It’s just been a non-issue. We’ve always eaten them, they’re always on the plate. They went through a fussy little time so I did dinners where I did five vegetables. The kids have always eaten what we’ve eaten. We stopped doing separate meals really early on. I cook from scratch most of the time, I’m not worried about salt content. I’ll do five veggies and say to the kids, choose three. They get some control over what goes on their plate. If they look like they’re a bit full, I say, ‘just eat that bit’. I’m just a bit logical about it. I’m not too strict, I don’t force them to eat if they’re not hungry. I try to restrict the amount of snacking they do, but they all love snack. I just try to make it a little bit more healthy.
I do lots of mince-based things, rice, salads. Always a colourful plate.
Annie Deng: What do you love most about being a mum? 你最喜欢当母亲的哪方面？
Bethany Meakin: 作为母亲的自由！因为可以写属于你自己的故事。如果你替别人打工，你不会拥有这样的自由。这真的是我从未得到过的自由。
Bethany Meakin: The freedom in it! To write your own story. If you’re working for someone else, you don’t get that. This is the most freedom I’ve ever had.
Annie Deng: How’s your husband helping you? 你的丈夫是如何帮助你的？
Bethany Meakin: 他是一个非常棒的父亲。他也觉得我是一位很出色的母亲。我们有不同的教育观，他比起我来更趋向于直接说“不”，而我则是比较善于先倾听她们的情况再说“不”。因为两个女儿关系非常好，所以我们两个有时间和精力去做自己的事情 。 当因为工作我必须踏出家门十个小时或者有时两天不能回家的时候，我的丈夫总能把两个孩子照顾的非常好。我从未感到他对于照顾女儿们有一丝怠慢。
Bethany Meakin: He’s a good dad. And he thinks I’m a brilliant mum. We have different styles every so often, he tends to say no more than I do, more quickly than I do, I tend to hear them out a little bit and then say no! Because they play so well together so often, the two of us have the ability to do our own things. With my life of stepping out of the house and not coming back from 10 hours or 2 days, he’s very capable with them. I’ve never felt that he wasn’t looking after them well.
Annie Deng: What do you enjoy doing most with your children?你最享受和你的孩子们做些什么事呢？
Bethany Meakin: I like teaching them things. I create things, I make soaps and I paint. The kids love showing their friends. How they talk about me just makes me beam. I love cooking with them. I love board games. I’ve been really motivated to buy a really big jigsaw puzzle that’s really complex to do with them. We haven’t done something like that for ages. Just being around them. Just the hugs and the quiet moments. Not taking yourself too far. They’re still young. We’re not doing grownup things yet. Other kids at school are starting to do things and we just think, ‘oh, we’re not quite there yet’.
Annie Deng: Have you travelled anywhere?你到哪里去旅游过吗？
Bethany Meakin: Without the kids, my husband and I have travelled to 46 countries! We were massive travellers before kids. With the kids, we’ve done a few trips in Australia. We’ve been up to the Gold Coast, I have some family in Sydney, so we’ve done that. I took Kamryn to the UK to meet my family when she was 10 months old. Just this March we went to the US, my brother lives in New York so we went there. They’ve been lucky little travellers.
Annie Deng: If you had to pick one trip with your kids that you really enjoyed, what would it be?
Bethany Meakin: 黄金海岸会是我最享受的。我们去了一个叫昆士兰的地方，过了个很棒的假期。我们还去了一个住在Newser的朋友的40岁生日会。然后驱车到处逛逛，去了大篷车营地，为了和大自然亲密接触我们去了森林，最后玩儿了一个主题公园。我们在那停留了两个星期，这个体验真是无与伦比！我们还去野营，我们特喜欢野营。！
Bethany Meakin: The Gold Coast, we went up to Queensland and that was brilliant. We went to a friends’ 40th birthday in Newser and drove up and around, did a caravan park, forest day getting out in nature and a theme park. We did a two week stay and that was brilliant. We’ve done camping, we love camping holidays.
Annie Deng: Do you have any tips or advice for parents travelling with kids?
Bethany Meakin: Be patient. Lower the expectations of your kids keeping up with you. Your kids need less in a day than you need. Just slow it down a bit.
Annie Deng: What do you do to treat yourself? 你会做些什么来放松自己？
Bethany Meakin: 我有一群非常棒的朋友们。我一有机会就会待在我的花园里。我是个在工作中非常爱社交的人。工作会带给我很多新的朋友。有时候我喜欢安安静静的待着，我也喜欢散步。在需要思考问题的时候，我会到去丛林徒步。如果我没有工作在身，我便会经常去丛林徒步。我爱烹饪，我很有创造力。如果我想着一些能让我放松的事情，那非画画莫属。我爱画画。
Bethany Meakin: I have great friends. Any opportunity I have, I’m in my garden. I am very sociable in my work capacity. Work gives me a lot of new friendships. Sometimes I do just like quietness. I love to walk. If I’m thinking of what I want to do this weekend, I want to go on a bush walk. I do those things as often as we can when I’m not on call. I love to cook. I’m creative. If I’m thinking of something that brings me the most relaxation, it’s painting. I love painting.
Annie Deng: What tips do you have for other parents?
Bethany Meakin: Trust yourself. Trust that you love your child better than anyone else. you will do the right thing by them. You’re also important. You have to look after yourself.
Annie Deng: You mentioned earlier you used Doula for the birth of your two daughters? What made you want to hire a doula?
Bethany Meakin: When I hired my doula for my birth, I wanted someone who was there just in case. I thought I would have a pretty straightforward birth, and both of them were very different. My doula was beautifully natured, very natural mother and very in tune with my baby. She was just a really lovely person to be around.
Annie Deng: Is a doula similar to a midwife
Bethany Meakin: 陪产师和助产师相辅相成。陪产师不会代替助产师的职位。作为一个陪产师，我的角色是那个一直陪伴在准妈妈旁边的人。然而助产师在产房里进进出出。我对澳洲医疗系统很熟悉，我知道不同医院会如何影响孕妇分娩的过程的。我会帮助准妈妈熟悉医院系统。有些妈妈希望顺产，无痛分娩或者是剖腹产，那都是她们自己的选择。陪产师的责任就是帮助支持她们。作为一名陪产师，我理解分娩是一种正常的，自然的人生必经之路，需要母性的支持和鼓励。 陪产师会在你怀孕期间到你家来，跟你会面，对你和伴侣认识了解，了解你是个什么样的人，你的期望值是什么，你恐惧什么，怎样可以帮助你冷静下来，什么可以帮助你缓解疼痛。
Bethany Meakin: Doulas work alongside midwives. Doulas don’t take the place of the midwife. As a doula myself, my role is to stay with the woman the whole time, whereas a midwife is typically in and out of the room. I understand how hospital differences impact birth. I help a woman navigate through hospital systems. If somebody wants to have a natural birth, an epidural, or a Caesarian birth, it’s their choice. The doula can help support them through those.
As doulas, we understand that birth is a normal, natural life event that requires a feminine, nurturing, confident support network. So you have one person that meets you in your pregnancy and comes to your home, I get to know you and your partner, I get to understand what your fears are, what your expectations are, what your layers of personality are, what can help you remain calm, what will give you the best pain relief. I am then with you through your pregnancy through a number of visits to the home. When you go into labour, you call me, I come to your home. If the labour is progressing well, then I help you into labour comfortably at home. When you’re ready to go into hospital, I go with you to hospital and I’m with you in the hospital room. I provide continuity of care. Continuity of care has been proven to reduce medical interventions, Caesarian births, etc. Having that one person you know and trust to hold you through your pregnancy to meeting your baby is invaluable. I help you to relax between contractions. I help to give you pain relief techniques in movement and breathing and awareness of your body and what’s happening. I also work with medical care providers. If your birth is taking a turn that requires medical intervention, I help you to understand the process, and to ask really good questions so that the way you’re made to feel during your labour is protected.
Annie Deng: How did you find your first doula, and why did you pick her?
Bethany Meakin: 我总共见了两位陪产师。一位是有多年经验的，另一位则是我最后选择的。我选择的陪产师是一个和蔼的，温和的，美丽的并且文雅的人。我并不想任何人接管我的分娩过程或者指导我，我只希望有人可以在那帮助我和我的丈夫，以防有些我不懂的未知的情况发生。如果有的设备强度太大的话，她会要求关掉它。她做了很多我不会做的事。我见到的另一位陪产师是非常有经验的，但是因为她让我觉得受到了挑战。有些人会选择实习陪产师，因为她们只是希望有人在那陪着她们而已。我认为最重要的一点是你必须喜爱和信任那个见证了那么多生产过程的人。并且让你觉得她们不会替即将分娩的你做决定但在关键时刻却会帮你做出正确决策的人。她在我第二次生产时表现得非常可靠坚定。那时我真的有点失控，我很庆幸自己聘请了同一个陪产师。而我的回头客也非常多。
Bethany Meakin: I met with two doulas, one very experienced doula and the doula I chose. The doula I chose was kind, soft, beautiful, gentle and I didn’t want somebody to take over my birth or guide me. I wanted someone there for my partner to help him help me. In case something happened that I didn’t understand. She asked for the equipment to be turned down when it was too intense, did a lot of things I wouldn’t have done. I met another doula who was very experienced, and I felt challenged by her by what I didn’t know. Some people would choose a student doula because they just want someone there. Seeing births a lot and the different types of things that happen in a birth, the most important thing is that you like and trust that person, and that you feel like they’re not going to take over your birth but also give you the ability to make good decisions if things start to go badly. She was really strong in my second labour. I was losing control a bit and she was really strong. I used the same doula for birth, I get re-hired quite often by my clients.
Annie Deng: What do you like about her?
Bethany Meakin: 她是一个聆听者。她和我有着相同的磁场，我们都认为分娩是世界上最正常不过的事。
Bethany Meakin: She listens well. She trusts birth and she respects birth. She has that same vibe that I did about birth being normal.
Annie Deng: When should people start looking for a doula?
Bethany Meakin: 我的客户一般在怀孕4-20周约我，大多会在12周左右。为了提前做好准备，并确保陪产师有空档。我自己很早就见了我的陪产师，那个时候我才怀孕四个月。在我正式生产前我们总共见了四次。
Bethany Meakin: I get phone calls typically around the 4-20 weeks, usually around 12 weeks. That’s for availability and those kind of things. I met with my doula very early on, I was about 4 months pregnant. We met up 4 times before labour.
Annie Deng: What should people expect at the first meeting with a doula?
Bethany Meakin: 聊天，例如你可以告诉她们怀孕让你如何如何难受！聊天中，陪产师会给你很多信息。对于我来说，当我们谈天时，我不喜欢教导别人，比如“你知道吗？”或者“你有没有发觉这点？”我会教她们一些关于放松的技巧，分娩最有利的姿势，羊水破裂，或者要正式分娩前是什么样的状况，再有就是分娩的几个阶段等。可以让伴侣加入这样的对话，并且替孕妇按摩，聊天，轻抚她。有些伴侣在分娩中不知道该做什么或者不喜欢做一些事情，对孕妇伴侣的喜好的了解 ，让他们如何参与到整个过程中来，而不强迫他们做不想做的事，也是一种艺术。
Bethany Meakin: You just talk, eg: how uncomfortable I’m being pregnant! And in amongst the conversation, there’s information. I don’t teach people, we have a conversation, and I’d say, ‘did you know’, or ‘were you aware of this?’.I do cover things like relaxation techniques, favourable positions for birth, water breaking, what pre-labour looks like, the stages of labour. Bringing the partner into the conversation, massaging, talking, touching their women. Some feel completely vulnerable and uncomfortable doing that. That’s a really big art form as well, finding out what the partner wants to do, including them but not making them do things they don’t want to do.
Annie Deng: What happens at the second session?
Bethany Meakin: 我以前提到过的一些事包括几次面谈的内容。我注重的是生产的前期准备。这其实是最容易被忽略的。很多准妈妈都不了解在生产前她们自己想要什么，她们即将要去哪里，而这些都会在我的合同中写的清清楚楚，是我必须做到的。面谈中你可以进一步认识了解那个素未谋面却将陪你进产房的人。想象一下这个场面，在产房里，陪产师正在和准备生产的孕妇的聊天，这时一个护士进来了，护士在此之前从未见过你，她们对你的看法，好的不好的，都可能会影响到她们对待你态度。比如如果你是个亚洲面孔而不是澳洲人本地人，她可能会想：“你可能英文不好，听不懂我跟你说的事，或者你可能毕竟笨，不会让我解释很多” 等等。但其实你是一名已经在澳大利亚生活了25年的资质牙医！还有一件事我想强调一下，特别是对中国产妇，一定记得给主动跟护士打招呼，做个自我介绍，“你好，我是一名物理治疗师，为了这个孩子，我和我的丈夫已经尝试了六年了，现在我们非常激动和兴奋，等不及要见我们的第一个女儿。” 这样医护人员便会对你有所了解。
Bethany Meakin: The few things I mentioned would take a few sessions. The thing I would focus really heavily on is birth plan preparation. It’s one of the biggest missed opportunities. To understand what you want, where you’re going. It’s a legally binding document, which a lot of women don’t know. It’s also a really brilliant tool to communicate with someone you’ve never met before who steps into your birth room. Imagine a woman labouring on her own with a doula, and a nurse walks in. She’s never met you before and she’s going to make some assumptions that could be right or wrong. If they’re wrong, they can really impact the way you’re treated and talked to. If you don’t look like you’ve been born in Australia, additional layers can be, ‘you don’t understand what I’m saying, you’re not intelligent, you don’t require as much explanation’, when you’re actually a qualified dentist living in Australia for 25 years! One of the things I like to say, especially with Chinese women, is to tell people about yourself. For instance, ‘hi, I’m a physiotherapist, I’ve taken a break from my career to have a child, I’ve been trying for six years to fall pregnant, my partner and I are excited to meet our first daughter’. That gives the staff so much information. But now we look at birth plans as if to tick a box. I’m really passionate about birth plans. I have a guide to birth planning for women. It’s a working document, who are you, what’s your background, let’s make you the focus of the room, what do you want out of this, what are your fears, what are the expectations of yourself. Then there’s a stripping back of what you want from your midwife, your options and impacts of birth. It’s not so much, ‘I want an episiotomy, I don’t want one’, it’s, ‘I understand what an episiotomy is and I would prefer a warm compress at the time of crowning because it’s been shown to reduce third or fourth degree tears. There’s a lot of power given back to the woman through the process of doing birth plans.
More about Bethany’s businesses 更多关于Bethany’s 的专业陪产师服务
Why use Bethany’s Doula Service? 为什么选择Bethany的专业陪产师服务？
In Bethany’s own words. “ I allow women to feel very excited about giving birth, more confident, they’re well prepared, they feel safe, supported and nurtured. It’s the little things in labour and birth that we focus on. When you’re exhausted and focusing on continual contractions, we’re there to remind you to release tension in your body between contractions, and there to get you water and make you more comfortable. I’m really in tune with women throughout that labour process, so I’m there with you and I’m watching every single move you make. I’m just helping to make each contraction hurt less. I hold women through a time of difficulty if their birth is taking a different path. Again, having someone with loving eyes and softness and confidence to say, ‘you’re okay’ is really valuable. One of the biggest things we support within labour and birth is the way you’re made to feel. It lasts a lifetime, long after the experience has started to fade. I felt cared for, I felt safe, even though it’s difficult, the way you make her feel is very, very important. When you don’t have that extra person in the room to remind you that you’re doing well and that encouragement, then you can feel very lost, scared and frightened and unsure of yourself. The skillset of a doula is reading her woman. Some of my clients like constant encouragement and talking and motivation. Other women just want somebody there if they need them. Having that somebody there might be to support your partner, to get some water, have a rest or go to the bathroom. The woman is not left alone. To understand that sometimes she does want time in the bathroom. She does want a foot massage if the labour’s taking a long time. And that’s the skills of a good doula, to read what’s going on and provide that support without vocalising. It’s really very important. If you watch women in labour, you learn something new with every single woman. Culturally, women birth differently as well. Some cultures are very vocal. Some cultures are very quiet. Some cultures are risk-averse. Some cultures see birth as very normal. Your birth belief is very powerful.”
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