All posts tagged: #newcastlebirth

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 …

Giving birth at the RVI

Royal Victoria Infirmary, Leazes Wing, Richardson Road, Newcastle NE1 4LP The maternity unit has: 12 labour rooms Epidural Gas & Air Diamorphine 1 birth pool Birth balls and birthing equipment Partners can stay on the postnatal ward on a chair Doctors and anaesthetists are available Special Care Baby Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit are available for babies who need extra care and medical support   My thoughts on the RVI Maternity Unit… It’s a great unit and it is used by pregnant women who may need more medical observation and monitoring or who may feel more secure having access to epidurals and interventions. Like any maternity unit, it will receive some criticisms but the feedback I usually receive from parents is very positive, with mention of individual care and flexibility. It is a busy unit so 1:1 midwifery care cannot always be guaranteed but it always worth asking if your midwife can provide it. You may need to be assertive on the postnatal ward if you need support from a midwife. This is a …

9 things I wish I had known about labour & birth

Now, it’s been a while since I have done the birth thing myself – 17 years, 14 years and 11 years ago – but I do love birth and I obssess about it somewhat! As part of my training to be an antenatal teacher, I had to debrief my birth experience to learn from it and to ensure any issues weren’t carried into my antenatal classes. I had a straightforward homebirth, which was an incredibly positive experience but it still a steep learning curve and there was plenty I didn’t expect… 1. my waters could break first, without strong & regular contractions… and that it could be hours before those contractions properly kicked in. My daughter was in a back-to-back position, which is why my waters went first and the hours of milder contractions were turning her. 2. I did not know how to breathe… I didn’t have the understanding or skills to use and control my breathing, so while I was pretty calm most of the time I didn’t have anything to use when my contractions …