All posts filed under: Birth, Baby & Family

A unique range courses and support for expectant and new parents across Tyneside

If your baby is due in February or March…

Whether this is your first, second, third or fourth baby, you will benefit from some birth preparation – it could be about gathering information and skills, refreshing your knowledge, birth debrief and getting your head focused for the birth of your baby. Here’s what I have available for you… ANTENATAL COURSE: Mondays – January 14, 21, 28. February 4 & 11 from 7-9pm RELAX & BREATHE COURSE: Wednesdays -January 16, 23 & 30 from 7-8.30pm 1:1 SESSIONS: Daytime, Evening & Weekend appointments are available   Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any queries.     Janine | Birth, Baby & Family A specialist in pregnancy, birth & parent support    

Labour & Birth: why does how you breathe matter?

We can all breathe right, so why do we need to know how to breathe for labour and birth? I have focused on Relax & Breathe for the past 10 years and I have seen how relaxed breathing has made a difference to how women feel in pregnancy, as well as how it can affect how they feel and work with their contractions during labour. My practice is all about keeping it simple – you don’t need to learn a new way to breathe, it is all about slowing down your breathing and learning to switch off and to focus on just breathing. So many of the pregnant women I work with comment that they didn’t realise how much tension they were carrying – but having a session to slow their breathing and to relax their body makes them aware of their tense jaw and stiff shoulders. Stress and tension isn’t that great for us – it can make us ache and it can make us tired and carrying this tension into labour isn’t helpful …

Pregnancy: aches & pains

Pregnancy is so different for every woman – I have had three pregnancies and I had worked with hundreds of pregnant women and I have seen women blossom and I have seen women struggle. Our bodies grow, adapt and change throughout pregnancy so it is inevitable that there will be tiredness and a few aches. Pregnancy may not be a time of illness for many of us but it is a time of listening to our bodies, of taking it easy when it demands us to rest and when it hurts. Your back and your hips can ache as your body changes shape, your legs can become restless, your may develop carpal tunnel in your wrists and hands, your pubic bone can ache and hurt and you may experience headaches. This can start in your second trimester or you could be close to the end of your pregnancy – you still need to listen to your body. Rest is good and use as many pillows as it takes to be comfortable – under your bump, …

Parent Voices: Enjoy Every Minute?

As my bump grew bigger and the start of maternity leave loomed, I began to hear it from acquaintances, friends and strangers: ‘Enjoy every minute’ It was as innocuous as all the other pregnancy small talk, and I didn’t think much of it as they waved me off towards motherhood with those three little words. I certainly wasn’t ‘enjoying every minute’ of pregnancy, but I was really looking forward to meeting the baby and enjoying every minute of this new adventure. Birth was swift and uncomplicated. Not something I enjoyed every minute of – but a positive experience nonetheless. Euphoria hit before the cord was even cut. This was amazing – I really was enjoying every minute, just like they promised. I was enjoying getting to know this new and mysterious creature; gazing at him; cuddling him; sharing the news. Despite the aches and pains and bleeding, I was even enjoying my post-partum body. I marvelled at what it had just done, and promised never to be critical about its wobbly bits and stretch marks. …

pregnancy newcastle and tyneside

Your body during pregnancy

Here’s what happens to your body during pregnancy and birth…   Your body during pregnancy – hormones As soon as the placenta starts to form and the cells which are fast becoming your baby have implanted into the side of the uterus, your body will produce human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) – these levels will double every couple of days, reaching its peak by about 10 weeks, when the levels start to level out as the placenta starts to function. Oestrogen  This hormone is needed to: stimulate the placenta – to ensure that it grows and works develop your baby’s lungs, liver and kidneys work with progesterone to grow your breast tissue for milk production The rapidly growing levels of oestrogen in early pregnancy may cause sickness and nausea. Oestrogen and relaxin creates the loosening of the ligaments and joints throughout the body, which is needed to enable your body to expand for your growing baby and to provide the space for your baby to be born.   Progesterone This is a very powerful hormone – its levels are very high during pregnancy. In early pregnant it is needed: to stimulate blood vessels to increase the blood flow to your womb for the glands in the lining of the womb to produce the nutrients that are needed for your embryo baby to enable the lining of your womb to thicken and to aid the attachment of the placenta and the implantation of your embryo baby to form the placenta Throughout pregnancy, progesterone is needed: for the development of your baby to prevent your womb contracting before labour needs to start to prevent lactation until after your baby is born to help strengthen the muscles of your pelvic wall for labour   Oxytocin The posterior pituitary gland releases oxytocin during pregnancy, this will increase at the end of pregnancy to stimulate the contractions needed for labour.   Human placental lactogen (hPL) This hormone, also known as human chorionic somatomammotropin, is made by the placenta. It provides nutrition for your baby and it stimulates the milk glands in your breasts in preparation for breastfeeding. Your body during pregnancy Your heart during the second trimester your heart is working 40% harder than normal – your heart is working efficiently to pump more blood with each beat your heart rate may increase by about 15 beats per minute blood volume increases throughout pregnancy Plasma can increase by 40-50% and red blood cell mass increases by 20-30%, which can mean you need more iron and folic acid   Your lungs throughout pregnancy, the air going in and out of your lungs increases by about 50%, with higher blood oxygen levels – you  could consume 10-20% more oxygen the shape of your chest changes in pregnancy as your diaphragm can rise by 4cm, which reduces lung capacity by 5%   Your cervix & uterus The cervix acts as a barrier against infection during pregnancy and it protects your baby by staying firmly closed until labour starts. The hormone progesterone causes the cells of the cervix to create mucus, which forms the mucous plug. Your uterus will contract throughout pregnancy – these Braxton Hicks contractions will help to aid the blood circulation to the placenta.   Nausea and vomiting  This affects about 70% pregnant women – it is usually caused by relaxed stomach muscles and increased oestrogen About 20% of women will experience it throughout pregnancy   Appetite About 50% of all pregnant women experience an increased appetite   Heartburn  This affects between 30-70% of women at some point in pregnancy – it is caused by progesterone which relaxes the oesophageal sphincter.   Weight Gain in Pregnancy The expected weight gain in pregnancy is: 4kg (9lb) in first 20 weeks and 8.5kg (1stone 5lb) in last 20 weeks (12.5kg in total) Boobs: 0.4kg (1lb) Fat: 3.5kg (12lb) Placenta: 0.6kg (1lb5oz) Baby: 3.4kg (7lb 7oz) Amniotic fluid: 0.6kg (1lb 5oz) Increased uterus size: 1kg (2lb 3oz) Increased blood volume: 1.5kg (3lb 5oz) …