Ten Tantalizing Reasons to Love Turmeric

Ten Tantalizing Reasons to Love Turmeric

Ten Tantalising Reasons to Love Turmeric

by Ponderings Radio

Ten Tantalizing Reasons to Love Turmeric

words: Jasmin Pedretti 

Turmeric. Is it worth all the hype, or is it just a trendy fad loved by hipsters who want to spice up their lattes?

We break down why this yellow herb is the real deal; the extraordinary benefits and the sneaky trick to make it more effective.

It originates in China and is rooted in thousands of years of Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Basically, the herb is ancient, and we are only just starting to recognize its potential. 

If you want to be “that” person, call it by its scientific name, Curcuma Longa.

It will be sure to impress… no one ever, but sometimes it’s cool to have different names for things.

What might be more likely to impress is knowing what gives the spice it’s golden hue. Curcumin is Turmeric’s primary active ingredient that is behind the color and most of its health benefits. The curcumin, along with the herbs other constituents, work together to achieve results. Therefore, it’s much preferred by the human body than chemical-based medicine.

For all its magic, Turmeric’s bioavailability is quite low.

This means that when consumed, the substance struggles to enter the bodies circulation and have an active effect. HOWEVER, the remedy is a sprinkling of pepper. Not only will this enhance Turmeric’s bioavailability by up to 2000%, but it will also add a subtle earthy spice that will leave your taste buds very happy.

Everyone knows Turmeric for its anti-inflammatory properties, but there is so much more to this aromatic condiment. There are myriads of health benefits.

Here are ten tantalizing reasons to love Turmeric:

 

  1. The warming and bitter effect stimulates blood circulation 

  2. Liver protection

  3. High in iron, one teaspoon of ground Turmeric has 1.65 milligrams of iron which supplies 9 per cent of a woman’s and 23 per cent of a man’s iron quota for the day 

  4. High in antioxidants

  5. Decreases cholesterol 

  6. Assists with settling down the inflammation associated with asthma 

  7. Is a potent antagonist of numerous cancer-causing cells 

  8. Regulates blood sugar 

  9. Supports neurological, cardiovascular and immune system 

  10. There is even evidence suggesting that Turmeric may prevent replication of H.I.V.1!

Sounds pretty healthy, right?

Good news is, you don’t need to lash out on an overpriced beverage at a trendy Melbourne café, to get your Turmeric on. There are numerous culinary uses. It can be added to curries, soups, or even a poached egg.

If a Turmeric beverage is more your thing, here is a recipe you can make yourself and enjoy the liquid gold in the comfort of your own home.

Simple Turmeric Tonic Recipe:

 (makes two serves) 

Ingredients:

3 cups of boiling water 

¼ tsp of ground Turmeric

½ tsp of ground Ginger or 1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

½ tsp organic Apple Cider Vinegar

½ tsp of honey 

Splash of lemon juice

 

Method:

Add all the ingredients together and stir.

Allow to infuse for at least 3 minutes and enjoy! 

 

We acknowledge the people of the Kulin Nation, on whose unceded sovereign land we work. 

We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

A Period Through Time

The design of sanitary period items are made to conceal, discretion please! We don’t want everyone knowing our uterine wall is shedding

 

 

 

 

 

Crumpets and Farting Rainbows

Crumpets and Farting Rainbows

Crumpets and Farting Rainbows

words by Kirsten Macdonald

Waxing lyrical about a majestic universe or avoiding A-Hole retrograde? You have come to the right place.

 

Humans of the earth I am going to cut right to the chase: where does the need for people to be un-nice come from? Truly?

Lately it feels like a-hole retrograde and social media words blowing out like radioactive solar flares – power obesity across the globe? Inequality tipping the scales in a dangerously precarious position, the children are about to fall out it seems.

When an activity puts others in dangers’ way or is harmful, interruption is necessary. The person/s guilty of said behaviour needs to be re-educated. But how? It all just a bit too much, isn’t it? Everyone in each other’s space, business and socials, criticising everything from parenting to little girls trying to save the world. We had one of those before, her name was Joan. She was burned at the stake. This one is being held high enough above the lick of flames. It took long enough though right?

Seriously- what the heck? Why should you care if so and so earns this amount, or that person’s parenting wasn’t what you envisioned it should be? Does he earn more than you and its not fair? Do you kick the footy enough with your son? Perhaps you shouldn’t have eaten that piece of chocolate? Oh Bother.

Don’t forget the pop culture and etiquette of smashed avo and saving a deposit for the thing we sleep under. Perfectionado city. According to Neil Degrassi Tyson astrochemists have gone from knowing nothing of molecules in space to finding a plethora of them practically everywhere. Anne Lorimor, an 89 year old just climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, breaking a Guinness World Record. The world is an amazing place full of unexpected delights and as humans we are capable of incredible feats. Surely making a dedicated world effort to kindle compassion and authentic connection should be on the agenda?

Do you laugh too loud or my personal favourite- are you just TOO ENTHUSIASTIC or passionate? C’mon really? I’m going to own the last one. Too enthusiastic. Am I? Yup. Like a Meercat on happy pills. Unless its Sunday, then I am a sloth on Smirnoff.

I once asked my doctor many years ago if I should be on antidepressants to counteract a period of melancholy; his response while retrospectively refreshingly honest was shocking.He burst out laughing. Heartily. A robust laugh. Which is quite seriously undebatable really. Because my melancholy was real and I have fought it my whole life.

I live hard and on purpose, I smell the roses with gusto and understand calm. 

 My friends call me Polly though because I have tendencies that flow towards flipping the situation into a positive. It must get annoying. (positive polly with her perspective gymnastics) 

I am not THAT positive. I don’t fart rainbows and wax lyrical all the time. I do not. I am totally guilty of loving the hell out of the people close to me. They get frequently told how awesome I think they are, but this is the truth. It is actually why we are friends because my friend detector is honed into awesomeness. Yeah I know right?

Comedians everywhere. But have you met my friends? I may not have been blessed with both eyelids, but God made up for it with friendship. If friendships were braziers, I’d have a K cup. Let’s be real here, I need some wins. K cup friendships might not save lives or obliterate aneurysms, but they certainly create treasures worth keeping.

For the record too, just because your health might be up poo creek without a paddle doesn’t mean you are not allowed to be happy or positive. Reality can co-exist.

So why am I pondering judgy people, criticism and defending my position on the positivity aspect you ask? Well, it’s Nellie Florence’s fault. AKA my Nanna. It was her influence that instilled the ideology to treat others the way you would like to be treated. The tricky bit is, my expectations then tend to be high of other people. I really struggle when people are unfriendly or unkind. This is tricky.

For example, I would never in a million years demand that another human go and buy crumpets at 7.30 am when the aforementioned human is doing their daily business in the bathroom. That’s just not cricket. I would never judge someone for their unco-ordinated running man.I never wish bad thoughts upon anyone either, another farting rainbow Kirsten thing.

The multiplicity of our human experience makes us like salt and pepper, when we mix it all up and shake it enough it all becomes lovely shades of grey. Incapable of separation because it all becomes one. Alan Watts style. If we thought about it all a bit more objectively perhaps we could preclude non-kindness.

We are built for survival. So I am wondering why the frontal cortex hasn’t established a decent relationship with the primal cortex. Not a reality TV show one with back stabbing and undie dropping. The long termer, finish each other’s sentence kind of one with a big cupid smooch. Good old Frontal is reason, primal is function and instinct.

Ok, so let’s put those two darlings together and create the pathway that goes like this- my legs won’t move unless I am kind. Before you can eat or scratch your ear- you would have to say to the people around you :

“Have I treated you the way you would like to be treated today?”

What the response would be?

Imagine if this was a prerequisite to social discourse? Customer service would make us blush with joy. Sex lives would be magically enhanced across the world, people with disabilities celebrated, and differences rejoiced. Wars ended, world leaders high fiving each other…whale hunters weeping at the destruction on the ship’s decks, snobbery abandoned, hunger destroyed, child marriages and exploitation might no longer exist.

Would our faith in each other grow? Would the homeless be housed? The hungry fed? The unloved be loved? This is my pondering. 

When we are kind, are there strings attached?

The strings are the expectation people might do the same if the situation was reversed. Where did this expectation of others having to be nice comes from? Yup, it was a childhood mantra. Problem is these days’ people get all tangled up in their own stuff. What happens when people don’t return the favour, and you are left like a kitty up a tree, and the branch is ‘abendin? 

 ‘‘Concentrate on YOU’’ is thrown at us every day, look after yourself first. Spend more time on you and less on others is blasted across the emotional airways. Look I am all for self-nurture, but if we are THAT tied up in our own stuff are we at threat of slowly growing narcissistic? The canaries looking in the mirror, preening their feathers. Quip of the day- Want to know how a narcissist is doing? Tell them about you.

Perhaps this is all about energy maintenance, staying in our own lane only to reach out and love another when guided to. 

For we are all our own creatures on a journey in this place, are we not?

I know when we conserve our energy and pour it into focussed areas that are sourced from an intuitive truth- we can only learn and grow. We can also create healthy boundaries. This includes unnecessary crumpet purchases and saying no to the mother’s group catch up where everyone hates someone and has a serious case of twisted knickers.

My mantra- always be kind to each other, be brave and enjoy the time you have with the people close to you as best you can. I know I will be. And children of Australia; please darlings, please let your parents have some private bathroom time, when something is evacuating your body, alone time is essential.

We acknowledge the people of the Kulin Nation, on whose unceded sovereign land we work. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

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Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

by Ponderings Radio | Kate O'Donnell Author Planet Spectrum

Kate O'Donnell

Kate O'Donnell

Wordsmith & Teacher

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

words by Kate O’Donnell

I would like to tell you that there are specific types of autism, but the truth is whilst with new terminology there is only one umbrella term of autism; the word Spectrum is used to describe the varied range or degrees of autism. The fact is that not one person is the same as another. Every single child with autism is different and exclusive.

There are many different shades in the spectrum.

One observation I have made over the years is the need for parents to compare their child with other children; to see how their child sits against or is doing in comparison to other children. Whilst I have no doubt that this observation and comparison has its place and seems natural, it isn’t helpful in the slightest when it comes to children on Planet Spectrum. Every one of these munchkins is absolutely unique like a fingerprint.

Sure there might be certain characteristics or traits that appear to be similar but the fact is no two personalities are the same so therefore no two ‘autisms’ are the same. Your child is like a once off work of art, each brush stroke differs, each shade is different. Life on Planet Spectrum is one of stark contrast and differences. Once you start to work out your little individual’s quirks, reactions, triggers and focuses, ‘language’ becomes easier to negotiate, understand and facilitate.

Often other people feel the need to adapt their experiences to your child, as a means of trying to emphasize or relate to you.

This may start with “I know a person with a child with autism and they do this… this is like this…” We call this the Great Comparison of Misunderstanding. But autism is not a one size fits all, and like all good misunderstandings, they can be changed.

This is actually a great opportunity for you to educate those around you. If someone opens a conversation with you that resembles the Great C of M, explain to them that in fact no two autisms are the same!

You can often get verbal feedback from people who are not educated and can be both generalised and unhelpful.

There are thousands of stories of total strangers giving negative and ignorant feedback which takes you right over to Planet Frustration and wanting to bang your head against a brick wall, maybe even have a meltdown of your very own but we will touch on that more in the later chapters.

In the case of the Great Comparison; treat it as a positive opportunity to inform and educate (if you have the energy). Not everyone has visited Planet Spectrum before, so it can be unknown territory. Some people have really great intentions that just don’t know any different. Our aim is to have everyone in the community educated, so they know all about our beautiful Planet’s inhabitants and how to treat them and care for them with respect and understanding.

“I KNEW WHEN I FIRST MET YOU,
AN ADVENTURE WAS GOING TO HAPPEN”

We acknowledge the people of the Kulin Nation, on whose unceded sovereign land we work. 

We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

Lucy in the Sky with Blinders

Lucy in the Sky with Blinders

Lucy in the Sky with Blinders

Lucy McEvoy is an AFLW player. A Carlton player to be precise.

A bluebagger that might have ground curators shaking in their loafers. They might want to upgrade their Bermuda turf protection, as this burgeoning star prepares to rip up the field and take position. Described by sports commentators as a dazzling talent, Lucy McEvoy is a young sportswoman to watch. She is refreshingly open with a keen sense of humour and grin so big you can’t help but grin back- but she is not to be underestimated on the ground. The recent Carlton draft pick plays football with a tenacity that is compelling and fierce. 

I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Lucy on the eve of the draft at her home on the Bellarine Peninsula.

K: You were a promising basketballer, when did you know you wanted to swap to footy and when was the choice locked in?

L: I was selected in the first national side in 2016 at 14 years of age. I thought this is cool. I loved it, and it was so much more fun and physical than basketball. I loved the atmosphere and the competition. 

K: What do you love most about football? 

L: You get to play with your friends, the training is awesome, it’s fun, and the game is full of really good people. They just want to play footy and have fun with the game. I think its all about the culture and the vibe of the team. 

K: What’s your favourite position? 

L: Midfield, because I have been able to learn so much. But I actually enjoy all of them. 

K: The idea of tackling and falling so hard and being physically dominant in competition puts the fear of God into me, what do you love about it? 

L: I love the physicality of it, the tackling of it. It’s the only sport you can do it in without being abused. When I started playing footy, it sort of crossed over into basketball! So taking a screamer over a player and trying to stop tackling the players wasn’t working well (big grin inserted- told you she was funny.) Seriously though, pushing your body to its limits to see what you can do and with a team in play is the best. 

K: Outside of training, what do you do for fun or relaxation?

L: I walk the dog, Dudley, the German Sheppard cross Jack Russell. (He’s charming and looks baffled ponderers.)

K: Favourite athlète and why? 

L: Dustin Martin – he’s so good, you know when he gets the ball he’s going to do something good with it every time. 

K: Growing up, was there a particular person you looked up to or looked to for advice with sport?

L: There were a lot of good people, but Brendan Matthews- my Basketball coach from 8 to 16 was brilliant in giving me advice and guiding what I needed to do to improve in general in sport. 

K: Is it overwhelming coming into this newly recognised and supported arena or is it exciting, especially Carlton.  

L: Exciting. It is so exciting to get in there and see this happening, and it is a little bit surreal because it is so new. 

K: What do your family and friends think about it all? 

L: I think they’re proud (she’s humble) but everyone is super supportive.  I have a great group of mates and good people around me. 

K: If you had a choice of travel, where would you love to go? 

 L: I don’t have the travel bug yet really, but Australia, there is so much to see. I want to see all of it! 

K: Fave Comedian?

L: Kevin Hart  – he’s hilarious and quick. 

K: What do you wish was different about the attitudes toward women in sport and the male dominance aspect of opinion and performance? 

L:  I think its starting to change, I still feel like if it hasn’t come from a man, it’s not seen as relevant. There’s a little less recognition, but it is changing. I really look up to AFLW pioneer – Susan Alberti, – if you are in that environment, you have a duty to protect it and tell them what you think. This is what she does. 

 

K: Is the women’s competition of a high standard yet in your opinion, given the newness of it all? 

L: Oh yeah. The skills and abilities of the women players are really upping the competition. There are some injuries of concern, like ACLs and concussions, but this is changing. Things like running head-on to pick up the ball are stuff boys have been getting taught not to do since they were little.  There are motor skills and learned reflexes we are catching up on quickly, and it’s already a high quality game. 

 K: How did you go when you were younger playing with the boys? 

 L: The boys on my team were always really good. Sometimes at the start of a game, the other team would throw a bit of banter around about getting beaten by a girl, I wasn’t afraid to say something back. I’d give them a bit of banter back. I pushed, I wasn’t going to be pushed- gained some respect when they could see I could play. I’d go out and smash it, that was always fun to see the look on faces. (She laughs.) But most boys were supportive and inclusive.  I am still great mates with many of them today.

 K: Does anything really bother you?

 L: Most things negative or anything that is water off a duck’s back, I don’t get fussed by much or bothered. 

 K: Social media-obsessed? 

 L: (laughs) No. It’s good to see what people are doing, but I am not consumed by it.

 K: Treehouse or Cubbyhouse?

 L: Cubbyhouse, I think- so I could see everything. That’s a really cool question. 

 

We acknowledge the people of the Kulin Nation, on whose unceded sovereign land we work. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

The State of Being Faye – Changing Health for Australians

The State of Being Faye – Changing Health for Australians

The State of Being Faye – Changing Health for Australians

words by Kirsten Macdonald

When I first met Faye Kendall, I knew she was someone I would like to interview one day.

With a keen sense of understanding people and a high intelligence hidden beneath a humble smile, Faye is somewhat of an enigma around Geelong. Her passion for preventative health feels like a thunderstorm brewing – encapsulated in a crystal clear jar of strategy that is before her time. It will rain on a barren land, screaming for health restoration.

 

Her recent growth of business Whole Body Health and Wellness has people talking and for good reason, but we wanted to know the why behind the woman. She is a Doctor of Osteopathy, humanist, traveller and entrepreneur, Faye is incredibly candid in this interview as we dig deep to find out the connection between body, mind and health.

Why do you like helping people? 

Helping people is a natural part of being human, and I think that we all help each other in lots of different ways without realising it. Smiling at a stranger, taking the time to listen to someone who needs to talk, cooking someone a meal or offering to lend a hand to someone in need are all ways in which most of us help each other every day.

It’s when we all help each other that healthy communities are formed. When I’m able to help someone (whether that’s at work or not), that person then has a greater capacity to help someone else in return, and then it just becomes a continuum. 

 

In our clinic I have people who come in with a specific problem that they can’t fix on their own, so they ask for help, so there is a set structure around the way in which I am helping someone.

 

A.T. Still says- 

Science which consists of such exact, exhaustive, and verifiable knowledge of the structure and function of the human mechanism, anatomical, physiological and psychological, including the chemistry and physics of its known elements, as has made discoverable specific organic laws and remedial resources, within the body itself, by which nature under the scientific treatment peculiar to osteopathic practice, apart from all ordinary methods of extraneous, artificial, or medicinal stimulation, and in harmonious accord with its own mechanical principles, molecular activities, and metabolic processes, may recover from displacements, disorganization, derangements, and consequent disease, and regained its normal equilibrium of form and function in health and strength.

 

Do you agree?

F.K: I wholeheartedly agree with Dr Still. We are just as much a part of nature as any other living organism. Therefore our natural state of being is health. Disease and injury are temporary states of imbalance within our bodies that occurs when we (or the environment we live in) is out of sync. Science has proven over and over again that with the right environment, our bodies have an innate capacity to heal.

As practitioners, we have a choice between treating the disease or treating the health in our patients. By working with and acknowledging the health that is present in all of us we get to help the body correct the imbalances that led to the unhealthy parts forming in the first place while also working to maintain equilibrium and homeostasis within the body. This is what true preventative health is.

When did you decide to become an Osteopath, and why choose this? 

 

I was in my first year of doing P.E. teaching at Uni when I found out about Osteopathy. I was really interested in the details of anatomy and physiology covered in the course. I hadn’t heard of Osteopathy before, when I researched the philosophy behind the practice of Osteopathy, it really resonated. Particularly that our bodies can self-heal and that osteopaths look at the patient as a whole person.

 

How does Osteopathy shine a light on deeper issues for people? 

Osteopaths are always looking for the true cause of the problem, which often isn’t overly transparent when you are dealing with organisms as complex as humans!

 

If a firefighter were called to a house fire because the neighbours reported large amounts of smoke coming from the house- and then proceeded to address the smoke while ignoring the fire, then we would all ask why the firefighter was just treating the smoke and not the fire. Yet when it comes to health care, our medical system seems to be well set up for identifying and treating symptoms but is lacking the tools to look for and treat the cause of the symptoms.

Osteopathic training has its educational roots in traditional western medicine, yet its philosophy is based on natural medicine. We are trained to look for and treat the cause of the problem to help alleviate the symptoms that our patients are presenting. Sometimes this is straightforward, and other times there are multiple factors at play. Two people may present with the exact same symptoms. But this doesn’t mean the cause of those symptoms is exactly the same. This, in turn, may result in a different treatment for each person as opposed to a one size fits all approach.

You have created a health clinic, with specialists from Osteopaths to Psychologists, Naturopathy, Chinese Medicine, in fact over 9 different offerings. From a business perspective, bringing the very best practitioners from different modalities under an umbrella is clever. I have seen you have the addition of digital overlays and flow through aftercare as well as a luxe approach- this is unique and if I can say, quite revolutionary. Especially in a time where we hear and read reports of an over strained health care system. Why did you take this approach?

It was time to do something different. To truly be proactive rather than reactive and give a quality to health that was new and fresh is the drive behind this.  There are lots of different modalities in the health care setting that can help people get better. We can collaborate and brainstorm together to create the best outcomes for our patients.

 

Why is referral within a space of multi-discipline approach so important to you? Not everyone is doing it, so why are you doing it?

From a patient’s perspective, we also want to make it as easy as possible for them. We also regularly refer to practitioners outside of our clinic. If we believe care will come from a practitioner outside of our practice, we refer our patient there.

 

Do you meditate? 

For me, life offers lots of opportunities to meditate in different ways, so I don’t have a set daily practice but rather take the opportunity to meditate whenever it arises.

When I work as a cranial osteopath, I’m engaged in the present moment, and I need my mind to be aware of what is happening so that it can observe the treatment process without getting in the way. I’ll often go out into nature where I can swim in the ocean or walk through the forest. These are the things that centre and ground me.

How does WBHW reflect you? 

WBHW started as a solo practitioner clinic, so the foundations of what our clinic has become somewhat intertwined with how I live my life.

There’s a limit to how much one person can achieve on their own. When there is a community of people all supporting one another and working together, then the environment in which we live becomes stronger and healthier. (Just like a body.)

 

Who is the most interesting person you know and why?

I have a lot of interesting people in my life, but if I have to pick one, it would be my friend John. Apart from being genuinely interested in EVERYTHING- he’s passionate about the things he loves, is always learning and willing to try something new and doesn’t try to hide his quirks.

What do you wish everyone knew about their body?

Everything in the human body comes from a single cell. When you look at a particular bone, muscle, joint or organ in isolation without considering the effect that tissue has on the body as a whole, you are only getting one piece of the puzzle.

Your influencer is…

Right now it’s Brene Brown. She inspires me to be brave even when it’s uncomfortable, even when it’s hard and even when I want to take the easy road. It’s the little choices every day that make the difference.

 

Favourite author and why…

Eckhart Tolle. Sometimes you read a book that completely changes the way you look at life. For me, that was’ A New Earth’.

 

If life could be summed up in a quote. What would it be?

 

Dr Seuss – “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

 

A Period Through Time

The design of sanitary period items are made to conceal, discretion please! We don’t want everyone knowing our uterine wall is shedding

 

 

 

 

 

Still Hope For Angel Babies

Still Hope For Angel Babies

Montanna Macdonald

Journalist

Montanna Macdonald

Still Hope For Angel Babies

Alison and Adam Wightwick sit side by side on their sofa, looking into the eyes of each other as they speak about their last moments with their son, Aaron. Adam spoke softly, “you’re on the maternity ward … there is a lot of happiness around, and babies crying, and our baby’s not crying.” 

 

Aaron Wightwick is one baby of six in Australia to be stillborn each day, the main cause of death under the age of one. According to the 2018 Senate Inquiry into stillbirth, Australia’s stillbirth rate is higher than the national road toll, and over 30 times more common than Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Despite modern advancements in medical practise, Australia’s stillbirth rates have not changed in the last 20 years, receiving less recognition than other childhood deaths. The lack of conversation is a national crisis, affecting the mental health of bereaved parents, families and health practitioners. 

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) defines stillbirth as “a foetal death occurring at 20 or more completed weeks of gestation or 400 grams or more birth weight”. For Ali and Adam Wightwick, 2019 marks the 12th anniversary of Aaron’s death at just 19 weeks and six days. “The hardest thing is all of the firsts,” Adam says. “He was due on our wedding anniversary. That date for quite a few years was not a happy day when it should’ve been a happy day.”

On June 12, 2007, Ali Wightwick went from back pain one day, to Aaron having no heartbeat the next. The Wightwick’s specialist only weeks earlier said the pregnancy was strong. “It was tough to hand him over. This is the end, and this is it, we aren’t going to see him again,” Ali says. 

 

“He was a little human,” Adam adds. “All the features were there; little hands, fingers and toes.” The couple will never forget picking up Aaron from his hospital bassinet and holding him one last time.

 

Following Aarons death, the Drysdale couple went through two more IVF miscarriages within three years, triggering anxiety, depression and feeling withdrawn from society. “I didn’t want to leave the house,” Ali says to her husband, to which he responds: “it was hard to lift your spirits when you didn’t want your spirits lifted. We did a lot of counselling.” 

 

The Wightwicks share a memory box filled with trinkets and a teddy bear with Aaron’s urn inside to cuddle. It was these small things and support groups that brought them peace. Happily, the couple now have two healthy boys, Zane and Xavier, and believe seeking support changed their course. 

 

 “If we didn’t get any of that, our story could be totally different,” Adam says. 

“Reach out and take the support, even if you don’t think you need it because that’s what makes the difference.”

According to the University of Queensland’s Centre of Research Excellence in Stillbirth, the often hidden tragedy of bereavement affects over 2000 families each year, with the sorrow of empty arms causing a ripple effect with social and emotional impacts. Furthermore, up to 50% of Australia’s and New Zealand’s bereaved parents believe they are unable to communicate freely about their stillborn baby because of the discomfort in others.

 

Geelong’s Westfield My Local Hero Finalist, and Angel Gowns volunteer, Sarah Tuohey, crochets clothing and blankets for “angel babies” and premature babies. The Westfield program offers community recognition and grants for nominated locals efforts to support an organisation of their choice. Angel Gowns for Australian Angel Babies provides angel packs with gowns and other keepsakes for families with babies up to 18 months who have died. 

 

While cradling little white booties in the palm of her hand, Sarah softly says, “these beautiful little beanies and booties show that those little people are not forgotten, rather than just remembered as a miscarriage or something that went wrong.” 

 

Sarah’s premature son, Noah, survived her complicated pregnancy, after being diagnosed with a potentially deadly condition called Placenta Percreta, where the placenta can attach to the uterus and nearby organs. Sarah encountered mothers who lost their children and needed small clothing, prompting her to volunteer for Angel Gowns. For Sarah, giving families clothing signified these babies had a life, giving parents the chance to celebrate the short time they had. 

Sarah reflects on a conversation she once had with a bereaved mum. Dressing her baby in a gown was the only thing she could do, “putting the baby to rest in a beautiful way, knowing the baby was loved”. “She couldn’t save the child, but she could at least give the baby a farewell that they deserved.” 

 

Angel Gowns is just one of many organisations in Australia trying to provide bereaved parents with the support they need. Furthermore, with over 54 million 

 

Angel Gowns is just one of many organisations in Australia trying to provide bereaved parents with the support they need. Organisations like Red Nose, SANDS, Stillbirth Foundation and Still Aware are continually campaigning for education, awareness and action in stillbirth research and preventatives. 

 

These organisations, as well as over 269 submissions from around the nation, contributed to the Senate Enquiry Select Committee on Stillbirth Research and Education Report in December 2018. The report inquires the future of stillbirth with sixteen recommendations made by the committee. The Australian Government published their response in July 2019.

 

The Australian Government agreed to meet all sixteen recommendations made by the committee, including a total $52.4 million investment in research, education programs and mental health support. 

 

The Stillbirth CRE Safer Baby Bundle campaign rolls out this October in NSW, VIC and QLD, addressing the evidence gaps in maternity services on stillbirth prevention. The program aims to reduce stillbirth rates by 20 %, hoping to model the success rates of the ‘Saving Babies Lives Bundle’ in the UK. 

 

A prominent theme runs through these experiences, a need for communication, education and research to synchronise. Conversation is key to supporting families, not only in reducing stillbirth occurrence but also in the bereavement process.

 

The courage of Alison, Adam and Sarah to bravely push through the barriers of existing conversational taboo and allow us to share the space of these moments is something we hold dearly. Life brings so much to us, we are deeply grateful to ponder with them. 

 

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