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Midwife launches ‘controversial’ new parenting book

By Karen Keast | Last Updated: 19-11-2013

Midwife Alison Williams' is launching a book for new mums.

Midwife Alison Williams believes new mums can avoid the trauma of letting their babies “scream it out”.

The Healthcare Australia registered nurse and midwife, who honed her midwifery skills in New Zealand, is launching her book Colic and Sleep Secrets for new mums based on ‘responsive parenting’.

“It’s about responding to your baby and knowing what your own baby is saying to you,” she said.

“It’s a little controversial; it goes against the standard information.

“If your baby is starting to wake up and it’s looking like it’s not going to self-settle my book says you should pick it up and resolve the issues that caused the baby to wake up.


are a lot of reasons why babies don’t sleep well, because something disturbs them in that change-over of sleep cycles.

“The standard information is to leave that baby and let them self-settle.

“What my book is about is how you can help little babies learn patterns of sleep and how you can stop them screaming.”

Alison, who is based in Melbourne, said about 10 to 25 per cent of babies suffer from colic, which can also affect their sleeping.

She said her book teaches new mums methods to prevent colic, with eight steps ranging from feeding right to recognising tired signs and understanding sleep cycles.

Originally from Melbourne, Alison lived in New Zealand for nine years where she spent more than four years working on caseload midwifery in Gisborne, providing care for women throughout their pregnancy, the birth and for six weeks afterwards.

“I would often see new mums when their baby wasn’t sleeping and they were really stressed,” she said.

“It would be really hard to resolve those sleeping problems.

“When I went back to midwifery I realised there was a lot you could do about that in those early weeks.

“If you get those problems sorted quite early in the piece you wouldn’t have those six week problems or eight weeks problems or five month problems or nine month problems.”

Alison, who first started nursing in 1979, became a midwife in 1996 and is now an agency nurse for Healthcare Australia, has plans to write a second book on births.

Colic and Sleep Secrets is available here.

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