Category: Top 5 Tips

Dads… in the Birth room or in the pub?

Birth StoriesDadsPregnancyTop 5 Tips

Let’s throw it back to the 1950s where only the aristocratic Dads may have made an appearance in the birth room to welcome a son. The majority of Dads would be waiting in the pub for the news of the arrival of the baby at a homebirth or sat in the hospital waiting room, only to see the baby when their wives would be clean and decent. It was deemed inappropriate for the wives to be seen by their husbands behaving the instinctive, primitive way that labour brings.

Fast forward 60 years to now and Dads are thrown into the birth rooms with often not a scooby doo to what to expect or to do. With the role models from one born every minute spotlighting Dads to be jokers and a spare part in the birth rooms, more concerned with whether they’re going to eat the pickled onion monster munch or the sour cream Pringles. It’s no wonder with the media portraying Dads this way that they find their comfy chair in the birth room, open up their snacks and load up the iPad with the latest football match and settle down for the next few hours, leaving their other halves and the midwives to it.

What would you think if I told you that as a Dad, you are the best asset to birth? You can reduce the want for pain relief and make birth run more smoothly. Oxytocin is the reason why. Dads are the biggest source of oxytocin, with this hormone being the love hormone. A high level of oxytocin means a high level of endorphins (your body’s own morphine supply) and stronger, more regular contractions (oxytocin directly acts on your uterus muscles.)

So to the Dads out there that want to be that difference to the birth (that’s all types of births), here’s my tips for you…

1. Touch- Holding a hand, massaging the lower back, popping a hand on your partners shoulder. Touch increases the oxytocin and let’s her know you’re there.

2. Have a good poker face- No matter how you’re feeling underneath, bring out your best poker face. If she sees fear in you, she’s either going to feel scared herself or feel like she has to reassure you. Either of these are not ideal for her oxytocin levels.

3. Encourage her to eat, drink and wee often. Eating and drinking because the uterus is a muscle that needs nutrients to work effectively. You wouldn’t run a marathon without fuel. Wee often because if the bladder is full then baby’s head can struggle to get past it- women in labour often don’t get the same urge to wee as they do in pregnancy so need reminding to go.

4. Help pack the hospital bag- during birth if she asks you for her flannel for her forehead, or her Vaseline as the gas and air is drying out her lips, you’re going to want to know where it is in that bag. If your partner has a cesarean then all the baby clothes/hats/nappies are going to be your responsibility to find afterwards.

5. Get involved in the birth prep too. Help make the playlist, help research the birth plan. Knowing what will be happening in all avenues of the birth will mean that you can be confident and provide reassurance. Antenatal class can help you with the knowledge that you’ll need. If you know the choices she’d like then you can work with the midwife to make this happen. In the thick of contractions it can be a challenge to make and voice decisions so you’ll be the main communicator.

6. Tell her she’s doing amazing, tell her everything is going well, rather than asking her if she’s ok. If she’s feeling uncomfortable with contractions then she’s probably not going to say she’s fine and dandy.

7. Be a leaning post. If your partner is upright and leaning forward her pelvis will be open an extra 28% meaning more room for baby to pass through. And again the closeness will increase the oxytocin.

8. Be present. Try and limit the use of phones or iPads. When you’re trying to birth a baby and your hubby is scrolling Facebook it can feel a tad isolating.

9. Get your dose of skin to skin after with baby. It can be great for your bonding with baby, helps regulate their temperature, heart rate and breathing. Plus it gives your partner the chance to rest after birth and have two hands to eat the well deserved tea and toast.

10. Look after yourself. There’s nothing worse than having a hangry Dad in the birth room. Pack yourself lots of snacks and drinks so you can stay well fuelled too. Pack yourself a change of clothes too and maybe a toothbrush as labour and birth can take a while.

12. Practise the techniques with her in pregnancy. This can be breathing techniques, counting, visualisations or relaxations from hypnobirthing. What ever coping techniques you are going to use, you’ll need to know what they are to be able to prompt them when the going gets tough- this can be in the car on the way to the hospital, in the waiting room or during transition when birthing mums tend to momentarily lose control.

13. Sort the practical stuff- know who to call, where to park, how to get there, how to get the car seat in the car for the ride home. This will take lots of the pressure off.

Remember YOU are the biggest source of oxytocin in the room. Don’t underestimate your role in the birth room.

The Cascade of Intervention- Just a Myth.

PregnancyTop 5 Tips

The cascade of intervention is a term thrown around in lots of pregnancy classes by lots of natural birth advocates, it means…

Having an intervention (an intervention being an induction, an epidural, cesarean etc.) in pregnancy or childbirth will increase your chances of having more interventions as birth progresses.

I myself am a mahoussive natural birth advocate. However, I’m more of a woman’s choice and safe birth advocate. The cascade of intervention is a phrase that I’ve recently begun to question. Let me tell you why…

Firstly, let’s ask ourselves does the phrase in itself do more harm than good? Let’s take induction as a starter. So many pregnant women fear the process of induction because of this cascade concept. If you’re scared of an induction then science tells us that fear makes things more painful anyway. Your body becomes tense so contractions feel worse. Often because of this fear mindset women are more likely to choose an epidural with an induction- this cascade of intervention is one that is supported by research. Let’s flip it on the other side though, if pregnant women weren’t aware of this phrase or the negative stories that surrounded induction and were prepped more on what to expect from an induction then would that cascade be less or non existent from a reduction in fear? I have seen so many women have amazing induction experiences, they’ve hypnobirthed there way through, had waterbirths, stayed active and mobile with the hormone drip. It’s these stories that pregnant women need to be hearing to reduce the fear of being induced. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.. if you tell a pregnant woman that they’re more likely to choose an epidural after induction then they are more likely to make that choice.

Sticking with the theme of induction, a new piece of research this year found that cesareans were less in the group of women who had uncomplicated pregnancies and chose to have an induction at 39 weeks compared to women who waited for labour to start naturally or had an induction using current guidelines (such as at 42weeks for being overdue). This bit of research suppports another theory of why the cascade of intervention isn’t necessarily true. For example, let’s look at pregnancy conditions like pre-eclampsia. If you’re offered an induction due to having this, then during labour have an emergency cesarean, it’s more likely that the cesarean was due to the pre- eclampsia than the induction itself. Similarly, if you’re offered an induction due to being overdue and a similar situation occurs then that’s not necessarily the induction that’s made that happen but placentas work less efficiently past 42weeks which may be the reason. So the cause of further intervention is not the first intervention, but the reason why the intervention was chosen in the first place. 

I feel like we need to change the press of interventions. When women choose not to have an induction because of the worry of the cascade of intervention then their choice they’ve made has been swayed by a concept that’s not entirely true.

My tips for all pregnant mothers when offered an intervention would be…

  1. Always know your options and ask why you’re being offered an intervention. Birth interventions get a lot of unnecessary bad press when actually they are a much needed part of the birth world.
  2. Keep your mindset strong. Choosing one intervention doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to cascade yourself to a negative birth experience. Keep reminding yourself that you’re making positive choices for you and your baby.
  3. You can use this acronym to help you make a choice when given an option of intervention.

E- Is this an Emergency?

B- What are the Benefits?

R- What are the Risks?

A- Are there Alternative options?

N- What happens if I do Nothing?

What are your thoughts on the cascade of intervention?

Photo credits- Instagram @benzalphotography

For more tips and info on anything covered in this blog come to antenatal classes or hypnobirthing!!

A Midwives Top 5 Birth Tips

Ask A MidwifeTop 5 Tips

1. Pelvis and Positions

When your baby is in an OPTIMUM position – baby’s head is down in your pelvis and baby’s back is running alongside your abdomen. If you are standing up baby is looking/facing your back. When a baby is in this position the smallest part of baby’s head enters the pelvis first and your baby can navigate through the pelvis a lot more efficiently- making your labour and birth quicker and less of a chance of needing intervention.

To assist your baby into this position- there are a few things you can do… Think of the back of your baby’s head is its’ heaviest part and you want that to be swinging to the front of your abdomen, this should help you understand the correct positioning.

• When you sit down/ relax in the evening try and ensure that your pelvis (top part) is tilting forward – it’s sort of like your bum will be sticking out.

• Your knees should also be lower than your pelvis too.

• Birthing balls (blown up correctly) and straddling a chair (so backwards and leaning over the back) are great ways of sitting.

• If you do want to lie down or slouch back in a comfy sofa I would always do so on your side.

• If you do a lot of driving then you can pop a small cushion at the base of your spine to again, help you lean more forward.

These are all tips that you can adopt at any time of your pregnancy. However, it is most important from 36 WEEKS as baby will be entering (getting engaged) into your pelvis at this point. You can continue to adopt these positions in labour to keep baby in this optimum position by leaning FORWARD (on your partner, a wall, leaning on a bed- whatever is in sight) with contractions so the strength of your uterus contracting will also be working to get baby into this optimum position.

Another thing that you can do to make sure that your ball is going to come out that maze quickly is by keeping your pelvis UPRIGHT. Imagine dropping a ball through a pelvis, it’s going to come out the bottom. If you lie that pelvis down then put the ball in there- you no longer have gravity on your side. So another top tip for birth is to stay standing or walking as then gravity will be pulling from the bottom whilst your uterus is pushing from the top. Use the forces of nature to lend you a hand!

2. Protect your space

Lights, camera, no action. If anyone here is anything like me and is slighty, Instagram obsessed then I am sure you are partial to a photograph. Any avid photographers amongst us? But, have you ever noticed the most creative photo opportunity of a loved one, with perfect composition and great lighting. Only to get the camera out and they have moved from a chilled out, natural form to an uncomfortable, stiff pose? I always think of Chandler and Monica here too, Friends fan anyone? The minute the photographer goes to take a photo of the newly, engaged couple, Chandler puts on the most awkward of smiles. Anyway you get the idea.. The camera makes people act weird! Similar situations can occur during labour. It is called the ‘Fear Of Being Observed’ and it makes total sense. If you think about being in a new situation, such as birth then put your friend in the corner, or your mother in law or the postman etc. this is going to change the way you react to your tightenings. Birth is instinctual and primitive. Tightenings can make you want to squat to the floor or lean over on all fours, they are going to make you want to breathe rhythmically and sometimes noisily like you do if you are exercising. Sometimes having extra people in the birth room, such as a friend, mother in law or sometimes even your own mother (depending how close you are I suppose) can alter how you behave and this can effect the hormones in your body.

So this tip would be PROTECT your space. If you are feeling overwhelmed with birth and your surroundings, take yourself into your bathroom as it is often the only place where you can guarantee that you will be on your own for. Just until you have got back in your zone again.

3. DIM LIGHTS.

Having bright lights on decreases your production of melatonin (the night time hormone). This hormone directly works on the uterine muscles assisting them in contracting, so we need dim lights for lots of melatonin to be produced. Also, think of mammals, they always go into a dark space- free from distraction to birth. It is again a primitive instinct as in this environment we would have been free from predators, making a safe birthing environment. Also, most likely the reason why women often go into spontaneous labour in the night time, the darkness indicates the environment is free from predators.

Keep the lights dim in labour, either whilst you are at home or in the hospital.

4. Birth Affirmations

A POSITIVE MINDSET, is something that you will always own in all situations and I encourage you to utilise this to your advantage. Use affirmations to strengthen this mindset every day. Your mindset will be using words like CONFIDENCE, STRENGTH, RELAXED.

I make the right choices for me and my baby.

I breathe for calmness.

I feel confident about birth.

I feel relaxed about birth.

Birth is safe.

I relax my mind and my body follows.

I believe in myself.

I am strong.

I birth without fear.

(Note here that birth is ALL modes: Instrumental births, vaginal births and cesareans)

By following a positive mindset- your body will naturally align with this, without you predicting or planning what will happen.

The more you go over these affirmations and follow this positive mindset- the more your body believes that all is well and will naturally align with this. What I mean by this is there is going to be less adrenaline in your body, which is a hormone that can stop / reduce contractions. If you are feeling calm, relaxed and confident about birth then the OXYTOCIN hormone is going to be released-keeping your contractions effective and therefore reducing the need for intervention.

Your feelings surrounding birth you can control, which can influence your birth for the positive. However, to plan a birth journey, not so much.

5. STRAWS

I bet you’re thinking what has this small bit of drinking equipment got to do with birth??

Well let me tell you this drinking tool goes two fold…

Firstly let’s talk about the less obvious one… I’m going to take you back to a time where you felt a bit nervous about something maybe a presentation at work or an impending exam. The things that we notoriously do to our bodies around this time is hold tension in our shoulders, hands and jaw. Even now sitting here, reading this email be aware of your jaw are you holding tension in it?  What about your shoulders? Roll your shoulders back and down and you may notice that they were tense beforehand. Ever noticed how you clench your fists when feeling stressed? Our body is connected all the way down- if we are holding tension in our jaw, hands and shoulders then the rest of our muscles in our body hold tension as our body feels as if it is under stress. If you then apply this to your cervix.. a cervix that is tense will not open as readily as one that is relaxed. Which leads me onto a STRAW… when you drink a drink through a straw your jaw is relaxed. You try drinking through a straw with a tense jaw.. it is impossible!! Therefore, with the same rule applying- if your jaw is relaxed then the rest of your body is going to follow suit, meaning that your cervix will be relaxed enough to open efficiently. You can apply this same method to your palms, ask your birth partner to stroke your palms to encourage them to remain open and relaxed. Also, to your shoulders, having your birth partner pop his hands on your shoulders and reminding you to relax them will have the same effect. An extra bonus of both these too is that TOUCH increases the birth hormone OXYTOCIN, which again will encourage contractions.

This same method can and should be used in all birth situations. If you are having a cesarean, it may not be as important what your cervix is doing, however, you are still going to want to be feeling relaxed and calm during the cesarean and when meeting your baby. Get your partner to pop his hands on your shoulders whilst the spinal anaesthetic is going into your back, ask him to hold your hands and stroke your palms during the cesarean. Get that oxytocin flowing at this point, it helps greatly post birth with breastfeeding and bonding with your baby. PLUS it makes you feel good.

Second point of the straw is HYDRATION. Your uterus is a muscle. Think about going to the gym to body bump or HIIT and not bringing your water bottle… ludicrous!! It’s exactly the same as in labour, your uterus contracting requires fluid to work effectively.

Nb. Get yourself a recyclable straw then you’ll be helping your birth and the environment all at the same time.

So that’s a wrap for your 5 POSITIVE BIRTH tips.

For more tips for pregnancy and birth and the fourth trimester come to antenatal class or hypnobirthing.

What you can do to reduce vaginal tears in birth?

Ask A MidwifePregnancyTop 5 Tips

Ok ok I get it.. it’s not the most nicest of subjects to talk about and I’m sure you’re all crossing your legs as you read this 😵. But rather than focusing on how horrid this may be or worse still sticking your head in the sand, start thinking about what YOU are going to do about it!!! Because there’s lots of things that have been shown to lessen the tear, and with around 90% of first time mums having a tear that needs sutures, the more you know the more you can do to help reduce them. Knowledge is power after all. One of the biggest fears expectant mamas have about birth is vaginal tears so I thought I’d do a post on a few things that can be done to lessen the tear (number 6. is one that you can do from 34weeks pregnant.)

1. A warm compress. Having a midwife support the area with a warm compress can reduce tears.

2. Position. Pushing on your left side, all fours or semi- recumbent have been shown to have the lesser tears.

3. Communication- Blow and don’t push when the midwife says. This is so baby’s head can be born SLOWLY.

4. Hands on approach. Having a midwife support your perineum again, especially with a warm compress.

5. Did I mention…

S-L-O-W-L-Y

6. Perineal massage- Massaging the perineum with your thumbs (or getting your partner to do it) from 34 weeks with some olive oil has been shown to lessen any tears in first time mums by 10%.

These tips are all evidence based guidelines from the RCM or from an a midwife Julie Frolich who made a care bundle which has been shown to reduce tears.

If we’re talking about tears then we need to talk about recovery and healing.

1. Change your pads regularly to reduce infection.

2. Stay hydrated. It’s concentrated urine that may sting your stitches.

3. A high fibre diet will help with that first post natal poo. That’s dates, prunes, bran, fruit and veg.

4. Tea tree in the bath can aid healing. Other than that you can wash as normal but don’t use soap on the area. And pat dry.

5. Arnica tablets can help with bruising in that area regardless of if you have a tear. Have a look in your local health shop for arnica tablets to take during labour and post birth.

Any questions…? Please comment and I’ll do my best to answer them.

What They Don’t Tell You at Antenatal – Competition to Win a Tiba and Marl Changing Bag

CompetitionsPregnancyTop 5 Tips

And the winner is….

 

Breastfeeding. Seriously the hardest thing I have ever done. After your body pops out a baby, it then has to deal with nip pain. Like serious nip pain. I had mastitis twice this time round. (It’s like the worst case of flu along with feeling like someone has kicked your boob REALLY hard). Turned out my little one was lip and tongue tied. After 🦊 had a little op, the feeding was SO much easier. Just please no one mention #latch the word still brings me out in a cold sweat!

 

Well done Danielle!!!

 

Take some time to look through the other competition entries. Some are laugh out loud funny, some are really quite emotional and tear jerking. I wish I could give a bag to all of the entries as they are all first class!

 

So over here at The Bump to Baby Chapter HQ we try really hard to give you all the info at antenatal class so you can be badass parents 🌟💎 but as one of the dads pointed out at last antenatal class you pick up so much as you go.. We would like to know #whattheydonttellyouatantenatal this can be from pregnancy hacks you’ve discovered from friends or new mum hacks like getting a bag in a rucksack style so your arms are always free 🙌🏼 (thank you for Tiba and Marl ). Or anything else you feel would have been worth knowing 👍🏼

This my dear friends is a photo comp so tag us The Bump to Baby Chapter with the hashtag #whattheydonttellyouatantenatal and we will pick the winner November 30th 2017. You can also email your entries to thebumptobabychapter@gmail.com. Prize will be an amazing Tiba and Marl changing bag worth £120 (full terms and conditions below.)

❤️So get yourself snapping and we look forward to seeing your pics ❤️

In the mean time check out the gallery of entries above, click on the images for captions and you never know what new top tips you may gain!! If you want to know what IS covered at antenatal class then why don’t you come along to one of ours, details here. For a limited time only we are offering a mini course consisting of 5 tips to a positive birth sent straight to your inbox. This will start on the 16th December so if you want in on this then you can sign up here.


 


Terms and Conditions

By entering to the competition you agree for The Bump to Baby Chapter to use the photos and captions across The Bump to Baby Chapter social media and on The Bump to Baby Chapter website. The photos will not be shared with any third parties. This competition is no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Deadline for entry is midnight on November 30th. The winner will be messaged within 7 days of this date- if no response within a further 7 days then the prize will got to the runner up. The prize is a Tiba and Marl changing bag in Gold, although colour and style of Tiba and Marl bag is subject to change. 

Childbirth- The prefect time for a date night

Complementary TherapiesPregnancyTop 5 Tips

 

I will set a scene for you…. A gentle walk across the countryside holding hands admiring the wonderful views, followed by your favourite curry, maybe some candle light, your favourite songs playing in the background. You may then watch a funny film followed by a massage with some essential oils and then an ‘early night’ hem hem.

Lots of you may see the scene as a relaxing and chilled date night, where as mothers approaching their due dates will be sure to recognise these umm..  activities as ways to induce birth. All fun ways to try when you are term to encourage those first contractions.

But have you ever considered using some of the ways to induce labour for coping strategies. Now I am certainly not recommending a spicy curry as a way to deal with tightenings, as that will surely not end well. But how about using the same date night theme for coping strategies for early labour? If there is any a time where we deserve that date night it would be in early labour… It makes total sense…

 

The hormone oxytocin is produced from anything that makes us feel loved, happy and relaxed. Which would be everything mentioned above in our date night setting. Just as a reminder, oxytocin is the hormone that will encourage our uterus to tighten in labour. It also encourages our bodies to release endorphins, which is our own naturual morphine. So anything that means we will have more oxytocin in our body is a good thing, right?

 

A night in with the other half is the perfect way to do this… Oh and did I mention that practice is the key to perfecting this strategy for coping with early labour. Yes that’s right? Tell your partners that weekly date nights have been prescribed to you… Midwifes orders. In our busy lives we forget how to relax, yet when we start labour we want our minds to relax to allow our bodies to get on with what it knows.

 

So let us look at planning those date nights in. When you plan your date night appeal to all of your sense:

Smell – Light a nice pregnancy candle, or use a pillow spray or your favourite (pregnancy safe) essential oils. You won’t be able to take a candle (other than LED ones) into hospital but a pregnancy candle will be a great help to your birth environment at home. In hospital there are essential oils for your use.

 

Sight- Look at your environment. Turn the lights to dim. Dim lighting always makes us feel more romantic, whilst in labour dim lights encourage melatonin which again acts up on our uterine muscles to cause tightenings. When you go into your hospital setting take some home, familiar comforts with you. Your own pillow or a nice photo/picture.

 

Feel- Massage and touch are great ways that directly encourage oxytocin. I am sure you will agree that this is ESSENTIAL to practice this with your partner in pregnancy.. maybe once a week, actually twice a week…. Every day…?

 

Sound- ‘If music be the sound of love, play on’ Music is incredibly powerful for our emotions. Who else plays Beyonce loud in their headphones when you want to feel like you are a strong, powerful woman… guilty! Likewise who puts on Ray LaMontague when you’re feeling nostalgic. Yes my music choices may not be on point but you get the idea. It’s amazing how many people discover their birth soundtrack months after birth and are left in floods of emotional, happy tears whilst sitting on the kitchen floor. Get yourself soundtrack, there are docking stations at the hospital or if in doubt get your own device and some headphones ready to go when the time comes.

 

Lastly taste… Food again can hold us so emotionally. Who reaches for the biggest bar of Galaxy when needing a little pick me up? I’m not saying during childbirth you will be able to scoff your favourite takeaway and the largest bar of chocolate but having some of your favourite snacks with you will help keep your energy levels up. Your uterus is a muscle and needs energy to contract. Most importantly keep hydrated.

 

As you would have used these date nights in as a way of relaxing. Your body will then began to associate all the smells, sights, tastes and sounds with those feelings of calm and relaxed. Therefore just playing that soundtrack or smelling that smell in labour will be enough for your body to start to release the oxytocin and give you effective tightenings and lots of endorphins. The more you put into this the more you get out so try and get in as much as possible. Although many of you will already have a favourite soundtrack (maybe your wedding song) or a favourite smell (your go to bath bomb, or candle) that you can just tap in to.

 

So for all those who are partial to a ‘to-do’ list here is a short one I have put together for you…

 

  • Get together with your partner and schedule in some regular night-in date nights.
  • Find your favourite smell/ essential oil.
  • Find a good picture/photo. Holiday picture, happy place, family.
  • Create a soundtrack.
  • Get some massage oil (again a nice smelling one.)
  • Compile a list of your favourite snacks for the hospital bag
  • Keep the format the same and appeal to all (or as many) of your senses.
  • Schedule in some more regular relaxing time on your own. Using a similar routine (ie. Bath, dim lighting, smell, music, hypnobirthing cd)
  • Most importantly… Enjoy it!

 

Post Natal Recovery- Top 5

New mumNewbornTop 5 Tips

Congratulations on your new little bundle of joy. Although your tiny baby can be so demanding it is so important to think of your own recovery. Your body has grown a baby for 9 months, it will take some time to adjust to now not growing a baby. You will need to be in full working order to care for your baby so it’s important to remember yourself … You can’t pour from an empty cup.

 

  1. Eat well. Have a diet iron rich to replenish any blood lost through childbirth and the weeks after. Being low in iron can make you feel pants as well as making you more susceptible to infections. Also, eat high fibre and drink plenty of water. It will help with the dreaded first poo. Foods to eat: almonds, apricots, prunes, wholemeals, red meat, spinach, seafood, beans, dark leafy veg.
  2. It’s OK to not be OK. The baby blues can happen at about day 3. It is caused from hormones, sleep deprivation and feeling overwhelmed. You may cry if the toaster burns your toast and your partner forgets to put a sugar in your tea. If these feelings last it could be something more such as post natal depression or anxiety. Now we are lucky to be part of a culture where these issues are spoke about. Speak to a mum friend and more often then not they may be experiencing similar feelings. If they aren’t then speak to someone else about it. You will find someone who will say. Yes I know what you are going through. It will immediately elevate any mum guilt or rubbsihy feelings just to know someone is feeling the same. It is also important to tell your GP, health visitor or midwife how you are feeling. They will not frown upon you or judge you in anyway, they will understand and are there to help you. It is Ok to not be Ok.
  3. You can use tea tree or lavender in your bath to help with healing your stitches. Just a couple of drops. It is also very relaxing. Arnica tablets can be used to help with bruising. The British Homeopathic Association says you can take a a high potency powder/crushed tablet of arnica at the start of labour, one in labour and then for 3 days after. It helps with reducing swelling and bruising from childbirth.
  4. Stock your cupboards with sanitary towels. The ones that resemble adult size nappies or super thick mattresses are the best for your new Bridget Jones style pants. You will be grateful for the padding when you sit down.  Bleeding after childbirth can last for up to 6 weeks. Although it does reduce in the first couple of weeks. You may find that if you go for a walk or have a busier day then your blood loss may be more than a day when you stayed at home.
  5. After pains exist. You will have your baby and then your uterus, that has accommodated a baby in, will need to reduce back to its pre pregnancy size so will continue to contract after your baby has been born. Some mothers don’t notice them, where as some mothers (more commonly when it is baby number 2 or more) will feel as though baby number 2 is on its  way. Have some paracetamol to hand as it may last a couple of days, especially while breastfeeding as this is when it happens most. It is a good sign though as it means your uterus is going back to its pre pregnancy size but it is not something that many mums are aware of. Baby brain also exists so a take a note on timings for pain meds and also baby feeds.

 

Look after yourself and make sure your cup is at least half full.

Cesarean Section Recovery… Top 5 Tips

New mumPregnancyTop 5 Tips
  1. It’s ok I am wearing really big knickers.

If you have not already converted to the Bridget Jones style pants then now is the time to hop over. Larger pants that you can pull over your scar will stop the elastic rubbing across your scar. If you do find clothes are rubbing you can pop a sanitary pad across your scar.

2. Keep it dry

It is ok to bath and shower as normal just keep it to just water and ensure that the area is dry after (pat dry with a towel). Keeping the area dry will prevent any infection.

3. Watch out for signs of infection.

When you get discharged home contact your GP or tell your midwife if you feel feverish or fluey, if you notice your scar is red, smelly, really painful or is oozing as these can all be signs of infection

4. Family, friends & hospital staff

Accept peoples help while they are over. Let them make the cups of tea and don’t be afraid in asking someone to pass the baby up to you or to change a nappy as bending over may be painful. In the hospital your partner will go home whilst you stay the night on the ward. Your ward midwives and maternity care assistants will be happy to help you, you will have a call bell that we (as midwives) encourage you to use on your first night after a cesarean. You will need help changing the nappy and having baby passed up to you after your cesarean. It is there for YOU so make use of it. 

5. Move around

By the following day you should be able to get out of bed into the chair. Take it slow but getting out of bed will help get your blood circulating, even if it is just from the bed to the chair. Stay on top of your pain relief by taking it at regular intervals. 

For an honest story about one mamas cesarean section experience from Gloucestershire hospital see the birth story from local girl Kate. Too posh to push..? You can decide.

Safe Sleeping… Top Tips

NewbornTop 5 Tips

They say that many moons ago you would put your baby to sleep in what ever you had available, be that a drawer, an empty cardborad box. Maybe a flower pot..? Maybe not! Now we have recommendations that have been shown to help reduce the risks of cot death in newborns.

 

1. Keep baby in a cot or moses basket in your bedroom for the first six months

The safest place for baby is in your bedroom for the first six months. You may have spent time and money on decorating a nursery, but there will be plenty of time to use it. Any way, you need somewhere to store all of baby’s new clothes and toys! It’s not unusual for babies not to settle in their cots, so don’t panic if it takes time to settle them. They’ve just spent nine months being rocked and soothed in your womb. See our previous blog on how to sooth a crying baby.

 

2. Put your baby on their back

When putting your baby down for a daytime nap or at bedtime, its safest to put them with feet at the bottom of the cot, on their back. Once they are rolling over, you won’t need to keep rolling them back. Well wishing grandparents may tell you otherwise as old recommendations were to put baby on their front, or side. This can actually restrict baby’s ability to move their head around freely from side to side, hence why baby’s back on the bed is best.

 

3. Make sure baby doesn’t over-heat.

It’s tempting to wrap baby up in loads of blankets, particularly as in hospital they keep them well wrapped with a hat on. However, it’s really important to make sure they are not too hot. Never have a hat on when inside, and adjust layers to suit the weather and temperature of the house. A rule of thumb is one more layer than you. The ideal temperature for baby to sleep in is approx 18 degrees.

 

4. Don’t let people smoke around baby.

We know it sounds obvious, but its always best to remind friends and relatives to refrain from smoking around baby. And ask that they wash their hands before picking baby up to avoid nasty smells and toxins transferring onto baby.

 

5. Avoid using cot bumpers and pillows.

Every store you go into has beautiful cots and baskets adorned with lovely bumpers, however, its best to avoid using these in order to keep baby safe. Nothing else should be in your baby’s cot other than her blankets and these should we tucked in well either as a swaddle, under the baby or around the mattress of the cot so there is no loose ends.

Those early days… Top 5 tips

New mumNewbornTop 5 Tips

The first few days for baby…

  1. Baby led feeding. Scrap any type of feeding routine, you can not over feed your baby in these early days. A lot of baby’s will lose up to 10% of their birth weight. This is normal. Anything over this your midwife will advise you accordingly.
  2. Keep your baby warm. As a rule of thumb your baby should have one extra layer of than you. Baby’s also lose a lot of heat through their heads so make sure baby has a hat on when you leave the house, especially in the Winter months.
  3. Night number 2 is typically a restless night. Use our previous Top 5 tips to soothe your baby. Just think where they were and they are now. A womb is dark, muffled and warm, they are now in a bright, noise world so it may take them a couple of days/weeks to adjust.
  4. Dry skin. A lot of baby’s skin is dry, more so if your baby was over due. The best thing to do is absolutely nothing. Not even olive oil or baby moisturiser. A baby’s skin has a certain ph, putting cream/oil on it can disrupt this balance.
  5. Give your baby cuddles. This point is my favourite and also quite an important one. You can’t spoil or over cuddle your newborn, no matter what your relatives might say! A baby doesn’t have ‘wants’ only ‘needs’. Even if that need is a cuddle, your baby is wanting to feel secure in this big scary world and wants to give you as their mum the privilege of doing that with a cuddle. Make your baby feel loved with contact, talking to your baby and lots of snuggles. This will help your baby feel secure now and also later on in life. 

 

 

The first few days mum…

  1. Accept help and support. The transition to parenthood is not always smooth, so take all the help and support on offer! Stay the extra night in hospital if you feel you need some extra help with feeding or just that extra night to recover. If friends and relatives offer to cook a meal, walk the dog or just to hold the baby while you have a bath – say ‘yes please’.
  2. Utilise a mummy support network. If you have attended antenatal classes (or pregnancy yoga, swimming, Pilates etc), make use of your new friends who are probably going through a very similar experience as you. Create a whatsapp, Facebook, text group and get nattering through those night feeds! Book dates in the diary to get you out of the house for a cuppa or buggy walk.
  3. Learn about what happens after the birth. Most of us are so focused on the birth that we forget to ask what happens post birth. Educate yourself on what happens to your body after giving birth, so there’s no surprises.
  4.  Speak up. Be honest with yourself and your partner! The postnatal period can be a very emotional time and we all manage very differently. If you are feeling low or need some extra help, speak with your partner or a friend and make use of your midwife and health visitor, they are there to help.
  5. Take it easy. Most importantly, try not to put pressure on yourself to achieve anything other than spending time with your baby and looking after yourself. It doesn’t matter if you stay in your PJ’s all day.

Enjoy it!

 

 

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The Bump to Baby Chapter

Winner of 🌟The Best Pregnancy Support Service in Gloucestershire 2017🌟, The Bump to Baby Chapter has something for everyone. 🌟For expectant couple wanting to know all you need to know about labour, baby and those early days we have midwife led antenatal courses. 🌟For a second or third time mother wanting to birth without fear after a negative birth experience. There’s hypnobirthing one day classes for the busy Mum. 🌟Free blogs with tips on birth and baby for all 🌟Buggy walks in Cheltenham for new mothers to bring the sisterhood in motherhood. So whatever stage of pregnancy and whatever number baby have a look at the page, website and get involved 🌟
The Bump to Baby Chapter
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This was me this fine Sunday morning... walking out of my last shift on delivery suite and in to maternity leave, feeling all the good feels 🙌🏼. That’s not because I dislike my job, in fact it’s quite the opposite, I’ll kind of miss catching babies this year I’m sure. But I have all my career to do midwifing and my little person is only going to be a little person once so I’m sure going to make the most of it.

Had a good last shift with these 2 beauts (we’re all looking a bit foggy post nights!), Mia on the left will be TBTBChief for the next few months so you’ll be seeing her face a lot more over here. All classes continue as normal, always with a midwife, giving you the most real and up to date info.

Anyone else finishing for maternity leave soon? 😬

https://www.thebumptobabychapter.co.uk/antenatal-classes-hypnobirthing/
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