Maternal mental health week aims to focus on the issues of mental health that affect pregnant and new parents, which are often not discussed openly and in 2021 have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
Pregnancy and the birth of a baby is supposed to be a time of great happiness and excitement, but for many new parents-to-be, the reality can be far from this.
We all have a smell or scent that can conjure up a smile or make you feel happy whenever or wherever you notice it. It maybe a perfume that reminds you of a happy time, or the smell of freshly cut grass that reminds you of a summer or even the smell of baking bread! Smell is incredibly evocative and can be used during labour to help you feel calm and manage the power of contractions… we explore how to use and which oils may be right for you!
As part of our labour and birth series we explore all non medicinal pain relief options. As midwives we know that most pregnant women are aware of medical options of pain relief available to them in labour such as gas & air or epidural but are less aware of the range of other non-medicalised options. Knowledge is power and preparation is key.
Colostrum is the first breast milk that your body makes. Its colour can range from almost see-through to yellow. Your breasts will start to produce colostrum from about 20 weeks pregnant. As colostrum is made during pregnancy, it is possible to begin to hand express, collect and freeze colostrum before the baby is born. This is often called colostrum harvesting.
Yoga in pregnancy is a great way to stay active and is healthy for you and your baby. It’s not too strenuous and can help you to relax as well as staying fit and building core strength. Read on for how Yoga in pregnancy can help you!
Whilst there are many websites, forums, Instagram posts, YouTube videos, Facebook pages, books and magazines all sharing advice on labour and birth, it can all feel a little over-whelming to try and find the information and advice that works for you. And this is where antenatal classes can really help – by having that one qualified, experienced midwife on hand who you can talk to and ask questions to help prepare for your baby’s arrival.
When you think of giving birth, most people tend to imagine a bed of some kind involved – with the birthing person lying on their back or maybe sitting up…..In reality, labour and birth involves a lot of moving around, dancing, swaying, squatting – and very little lying on a bed!
So firstly – what is your perineum? – Good question! It’s the area between your vaginal opening and your rectum (back passage). It includes the skin and your pelvic floor muscles….Throughout most of your life, you probably will not give your perineum a second thought. However, during pregnancy, your perineum will take on a greater significance as you prepare for childbirth.
Self-care is easily banded around these days and often used to refer to a multitude of things you must be doing – making it all feel quite exhausting!
As a new mum – whilst the idea of self-care probably sounds incredible and like total bliss, you’re probably thinking ‘well when am I going to get the time to schedule that in?’.
Keeping fit and healthy in pregnancy will make it easier for you to adapt to your changing shape and weight gain. It also helps with preparing you for labour and your recovery after you have had your baby.
Have you been thinking about where to have your baby? At home, in a birth centre or the delivery suite? It can feel daunting to make a choice about what kind of birth environment suits you best and what kind of birth you would like to prepare and plan for.
In our series of blogs on birth choices – which we cover in detail in our antenatal course and advise and support you in making the best choice for you, we are going to start with waterbirths.
When 1 in 4 births in the UK are via caesarean section operation, for many parents-to-be a vaginal birth after a caesarean is something to consider and plan for in their new pregnancy. What you decide to do may depend on several things. We outline some of the main considerations to take into account.
It doesn’t matter the amount of love you feel for your child, postpartum depression can affect you. The baby blues have no time of arrival but it all happens after you give birth. A lot of new mums find themselves feeling weepy and irritable and not knowing why. But if it happens to you, don’t worry, most new mums go through it.
Most babies arrive between 37 weeks and 41 weeks of pregnancy, usually within a week on either side of their expected due date. According to research, only about one in 25 (four per cent) of babies are born on their exact due date. Just under one in five babies are born at 41 weeks or after. Our midwife Amina advises ‘instead of a due date, think of it as a ‘due time’ of 5 weeks.
Finding out you are pregnant can be such an exciting and exhilarating time – but can also be quite confusing too. All parents-to-be want the best for their baby and often wonder if they need to take any extra vitamins or supplements to help their growing baby.
During your first visit with your midwife – often called the booking appointment, you will have a discussion about your health, your medical history and any family medical history that is relevant, alongside information about yourself and your well-being… It may feel like a lot of blood tests and the number of vials can feel daunting – don’t worry, it will only involve one needle being inserted into your arm once to fill them all.
Pregnancy or planning a pregnancy can naturally bring with a whole a range of questions and worries. Being pregnant during a pandemic that is affecting so many can understandably cause even more anxiety and worries during such an unprecedented time.
If you are expecting or are the parent of a newborn, do not fear – there are well established, commonly agreed upon measures you can take to drastically reduce the chance of something happening while your newborn sleeps. In fact, since safer sleeping practices have been adopted among parents, there has been a steady decline in infant mortality since 1990.
As soon as your baby arrives, you will be wondering how they will develop over the coming months and years. The anticipation of the baby’s “firsts” is something that parents all over the world await with excitement. From the first cry, first smile to step, these small gestures melt every parent’s heart. Learn what to expect when in these all important milestones
During labour, staying active and adopting different positions greatly help with managing labour. This often comes naturally from a deeply intuitive place and will vary depending on the stage of labour and how much energy you have at the time.
Whilst the most common way of finding out you are pregnant is by using a home pregnancy test, many of us will only take a test because we’ve experienced certain symptoms that have made us wonder…
So you have been preparing for the new arrival for months now and you are looking forward to holding your baby in your arms. Labour starts in many ways for different women – some won’t feel any contractions until their waters break and for others their waters don’t break until they are deep into their labour!
Would you notice if these 7 subtle signs of labour start happening?
One of the most important things that you can do to help yourself in labour is to learn about relaxation and we’re going to look at just how and why relaxation could help you…
It’s one of the most well-known symptoms, one of the earliest signs and one of the worst parts of pregnancy, but (on the plus side!) it’s also a sign of a healthy and well established pregnancy.
Assuming you’ve met his basic needs and he isn’t ill, hungry or in need of a clean nappy, you could try some of the following tried and tested methods for calming your crying baby…
After the exhilaration of the birth, the joy of meeting your newborn and the relief that your pregnancy is over, it’s time to crack on with the business at hand – being a mum!
It is a good idea to know what is expected during labour, and also to learn what will happen immediately after birth to you and your baby.
Pregnancy Tips for Dads! Well this is it - you're going to be a dad. You're one half of the dynamic due that has created this new life and whilst your partner will have the task of carrying the baby and its delivery into the world, your role is to give support and be...
We’re hoping that you’re not feeling too sick, or too tired and that as your pregnancy progresses you will positively bloom!
New parents often worry about how to care for the umbilical cord stump on their newborn baby. Here’s some advice.
Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth. It can occur at any stage of pregnancy, but is more common in the second half. It occurs if your body cannot produce enough insulin – a hormone that...
So, after a long 9 months of waiting, don’t stop now! keeping labour going…. the worrying and anticipating is over, finally your contractions begin!
The truth is that pregnancy, birth, motherhood, it’s EMOTIONAL. If you have been affected by any of these things please know that you are not alone and there are organisations that can help.
The first 0-12 weeks of a woman’s pregnancy is called the first trimester. To help you cope we have devised a list of the most common changes and discomforts and how to effectively deal with them.
Every baby is different, every new mum is different, and even if you’ve breastfed successfully before, you may find it more tricky second or third time round or vice versa. In that sense, we’re all breastfeeding beginners.
As well as impacting your own short term and long term health, good nutrition before and during pregnancy is important for the growth and development of your baby and forms the foundations of their later health. What supplements are needed in pregnancy? If you are...
After giving birth to your baby, you will find that you go through a number of changes physically and emotionally. Here we discuss what those changes are and how your partner/family can help in the early days.
To give mums to be a helping hand, midwife Maggie Evans to help parents navigate through the nine months with handy tips for each of the three trimesters
Tips and advice on how to feed your baby
Whilst it is harder during lockdown to build your tribe, it’s still very possible. Online, virtual calls – friends and family can still be there for you.
It’s been amazing to watch parents connect and support each other during our antenatal classes. https://t.co/4mMcw96jQ1
If you have been active before pregnancy – you can keep going with it for as long as you feel comfortable.
If you haven’t been very active before pregnancy – Daily, gentle walking is a great place to begin, the more active you are , the better you will feel. https://t.co/jvc2mrQwrQ