First Nations health and wellbeing involves the social, emotional, cultural and spiritual wellbeing of each individual and their whole community.
Pregnancy and birthing are predominantly considered Women’s Business in many First Nations communities and can be strictly upheld depending on geographical location or how this cultural knowledge has been passed on through generations. Women’s and Men’s Business is usually separate and is sacred to women and men individually.
Traditional practices continue to occur throughout various Nations. However, for many First Nations women, traditions can be difficult to implement into modern midwifery practice depending on clinical staff knowledge, geographical location, culturally safe practices, and the cultural knowledge of the First Nations woman.
Grandmothers, Aunties, Elders and Sisters all play a role in nurturing mother and baby, and provide physical comfort, social and emotional wellbeing support, guidance and cultural knowledge, through song, dance, smoking ceremonies and placenta care.
Placenta care and burial holds different significance for different Nations. In some Nations, the placenta is planted in Mother Earth to mark the arrival of a baby’s soul, connecting them to their Ancestors and guiding them throughout life.
Gidget Foundation Australia recognises that culturally safe antenatal and postnatal care for First Nations women and their communities is crucial. Appropriate, safe care has been found to have a positive impact on the health outcomes of mothers and babies, and their communities.
You and your Jarjum (Bub)
Bringing a little bub into the world can make you feel lots of different emotions and looking after your mind, spirit and body is important.
If you feel stressed, anxious, sad or ashamed during your pregnancy, or after bub is born, Gidget Foundation Australia is here to help you and encourage you to start yarning.
There is no shame in speaking up. In fact, having support at this time of your life is important for you, your bub, your community, and your Ancestors.
This is your journey, and Gidget Foundation Australia is here for you to make sure you, your baby and your community continue to thrive for years to come.
There are lots of activities you and your family can benefit from.
Go and have a yarn with your Aboriginal Health Nurses or Doctors or even your GP. Tell ‘em you need help, get a Mental Health Care Plan and they will be able to write a referral to Gidget Foundation Australia if you meet the criteria.
Have you tried Dadirri? Dadirri is a way of connecting to Country. Listen to the sounds of Country. Can you hear the birds or the leaves rustling among the trees? Maybe it’s the water flowing down the waterways or your feet on Mother Earth. Really lean in and look, listen, smell and feel. This is connecting to Country.
If that’s not for you, put on some music, move your body and shake out some moves to get your blood flowing.
Ring up some trusted family or friends and start some yarns about how you are feeling and what support you need.
Maybe you have some little bubs around already? Have you heard of ABC Kids ‘Little Yarns’? Little Yarns is a great way to connect with culture for the whole family.
Another idea is to cook up a big feed for you and the family. Check out Kooking with a Koori for some lubly (and funny) recipes.
This journey is about you and your bub. You’ve got this, Sis!