Northern Star

Lismore mum in seventh heaven

SEVEN is a lucky number for Nicole and Steve Beddoes.

"I'm the youngest of seven, and my mum was the youngest of seven as well," the mother of seven said.

"I always had a desire to have a big family like my aunty. She had 16."

The South Lismore mother gave birth to all of her children naturally, with the word 'cesarean' only mentioned once.

"They debated with (three-year-old son) Jeffery to do a cesarean, but they didn't," she said.

"He was breech, but he turned and they let me continue."

Mrs Beddoes said although a cesarean could be a tempting option after a long pregnancy, natural birth was the way to go.

"It is a good feeling to have done it naturally," she said. "Cesareans are useful if there are complications."

Figures from the most recent data on childbirth show the
North Coast has a natural birth rate of 66 per cent, with just 14 per cent of births carried out using an elective cesarean. Emergency cesareans make up 11 per cent of births.

Margaret Spain, from the Natural Birth Education and Research Centre at Lindendale, said governments should place more emphasis on the benefits of natural birth.

"Research tells us that during pregnancy, birth and
postnatally, 85 per cent of women receive some sort of medical intervention," she said.

"We want to build a collaborative model to help women get out of hospitals and focus on natural birth, not fear.

"It's all about education. Needs should be individually met, not routine."

Mrs Beddoes said she has stopped at seven, but her husband
would be happy to have more children.

"He says the more the merrier," she said.

"I'd like to see men have babies. They'd all be wanting C-sections!"

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