All posts tagged: labour & birth

antenatal classes pregnancy and birth labour and birth newcastle and tyneside

Pregnancy & Birth – how and why to use your breathing…

Breathing can be an effective way to stay calm, to have more energy, to have some more control, to work with your contractions and enable your body to work more effectively BUT what does that mean? We can all breathe, 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. To be able to relax and focus on your breathing, it can also help to know what to expect: to know what your body needs to do in labour and birth and to know what is going on …

What do labouring women need?

Labour will always fascinate me – just how different it can be, how different each individual woman can feel and handle those contractions and the different support a woman might need. I have seen women roar during their labour – they have come to life with their contractions and can labour with very little hands-on support, just having the right people in the room has been enough. I have seen women need support with every contraction, from mild labour and right through to pushing out their baby. I have seen women need their partner by their side at all times. I have seen women need their partner to be far far away from them. I have seen women accept and embrace their contractions and I have seen women dread each one, only to feel relief with an epidural or a caesarean. I have seen women relax and feeling safe and less pain in water and I have seen women hate being in water, feeling too exposed. I have seen women who believe in their ability …

pregnancy newcastle tyneside

What can affect labour & birth?

For many of us, when we are pregnant and preparing for the birth of our baby, we are aiming for a ‘normal’ labour, we want as natural and as straightforward an experience as possible but we might be unaware of what can affect labour. With an unplanned caesarean rate of 14.8%, an assisted delivery rate of 12.5% (Birthchoice) and a growing epidural rate of 30% – information about what can affect labour, how it works and how we can manage our contractions can be beneficial. As a mother of three and an antenatal teacher, I passionately believe that good antenatal classes are an important part of pregnancy – to inform, provide practical information and skills, to support and to reassure. There is a lot to be said for knowing about and trusting the birth process – of believing we can do it and this does go a long way to deal with anxiety and fear but this is only part of the story, so what can affect how labour flows and our need for pain relief …

Why realistic birth preparation is important…

I am an antenatal teacher who discusses caesareans, induction, epidurals, forceps and baby monitoring as well as using your breathing, positions, gravity, being assertive, being comfortable, saying what you need, knowing what can help labour and birth be more effective and knowing what can help you work with your contractions and to manage your energy. I aim to prepare you as thoroughly as I can for labour and birth so you know more and have had the time to think about and discuss some of the issues that could be part of your labour and birth, knowing what your options are and how you can manage them. I can’t just focus on natural birth because that isn’t going to be possible for everyone. To prepare well we also need to discuss the interventions and your options with working with them. My birth preparation and antenatal courses are not just about telling you about inductions and caesareans and epidurals so you know what they involve, we will discuss your options – so you have questions to …

A broken maternity system and what that means for expectant parents…

A recent article in All4Maternity, entitled I Am A Midwife And I Am Broken, states: “On the shifts when I’ve not been alone I’ve been moved to work from one area to another, over and over. How many times can I apologise to women for leaving them as soon as I’ve helped to bring their baby into the world as I’ve been pulled to look after the somebody else? How can I provide continuity of care and build up a rapport with women and their families when this keeps happening? How can they trust me when I have to keep letting them down so often? How can I keep letting the student midwife that I’m mentoring down? How can I not have time to teach them as I want to and make sure they completely understand what they need to without compromising patient care? I’ve worked in the hospital and community settings and neither is better than the other at the moment, there is a break in the system and we can’t patch it… …Midwives …