All posts filed under: Birth Preparation Essentials

New VBAC guidelines

If you thinking about or planning a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) there is good news – the NICE guidelines have been updated and care for women in labour is no longer very restrictive. It has been a long time coming but this is brilliant and it means that women who have previously had a caesarean will be able to labour with more options. I am all about options and these new guidelines will hopefully provide women with more power to do what they need to do to work with their contractions and to manage their pain and their energy. I say hopefully because this guidance is not fixed, they are just recommendations but the more women know about their increased options, the more likely they are to ask for what they need.   The NICE VBAC guidance includes… Do not routinely insert an intravenous cannula for women in labour who have had a previous caesarean section. A cannula can be routinely used as part of the what-if management of a VBAC, so this is …

Why giving birth might not be what you expect…

TV images have a lot to answer for and we have built up an expectation of a bed and stirrups and pushing until we are red in the face. Birth can be like this but it is certainly not the norm. I use images in my antenatal classes to provoke some discussion and a lot of parents are quite surprised at what real birth can look like – in pools, standing, kneeling, using upright positions on a bed. Even lying on your side after an epidural will probably be more effective than lying on your back. Labour and birth is often about going with what feels right and what is more comfortable for you. However, exhaustion after a long labour can affect how involved you are – by that point, birth could be about lying on a bed because you are struggling to find the physical and emotional energy to do anything else. But where there is energy and good support, there can be different positions and use of gravity and lying down really might …

pregnancy and birth pregnancy and birth labour and birth newcastle and tyneside

Tonight’s antenatal session – the importance of knowing how to breathe

I just can’t stress this enough – being able to use your breathing in labour and birth really could be the difference between panic and calm, the difference between working with your body and battling with it. Labour and birth is largely about contractions and energy, it is about listening to your body, about responding to it and going with it. As long as you and your baby are ok – labour will take as long as it needs. Knowing how to use your breathing is a skill you can use when you need it – for contractions, for rest, for headspace, if you feel overwhelmed, if you are tired… It means you are equipped with a strong, effective and adaptable skill to control and use if your labour is straightforward or if it becomes more complicated with more monitoring and interventions. Using your breathing is about keeping you calm and that is a powerful skill to possess. If you know more about what your body and your baby need to do in labour, you …

Antenatal Class: topics and questions

During last night’s antenatal class we talked about: pain relief – TENS, using gas & air, diamorphine, epidurals and birthing pools birth – the individuality of pushing and birth, being guided by your body, using positions, the benefits of gravity, working with your body and doing what feels right for you. It’s all about having realistic expectations which may differ from the images we see on television – women rarely need to be on the bed to give birth and you don’t need to be told what to do with pushing. caesareans – why they can become necessary, who is in the room, what it involves, skin-to-skin with your baby, options and recovery. your placenta and delayed cord clamping – your options, gathering information and questions to ask. meeting your baby – what babies can look like, newborn baby checks, the benefits of skin-to-skin, your options and gathering the support you need   As an antenatal teacher I constantly go on about… using gravity going with what feels right and comfortable saying what you need …

Why my teaching space is a special place…

My teaching space is at home, a very special room that connects everything I love. The room I see my clients in for antenatal sessions, birth debrief, baby massage, postnatal groups and 1:1 sessions is a relaxing, warm, cosy & comfortable space. It is the room I meet with amazing parents for the job I love: supporting and reassuring; answering questions; providing a safe space to offload and talk through challenges. It is a room I spent time in during all three of my pregnancies and it is a room I laboured in with all three of my children; it is the room I cuddled two of my new babies in, shortly after they were born; It is the room I learnt to breastfeed my eldest two children; It is the room they were in when they first met their grand-parents; It is the room where my girls took their first steps; It is a room where I raised my children –  where we have played, danced, laughed cried and cuddled; It is the room …