10 things your midwife wants you to know

Posted on 19/10/2017 by Antenatal Online | Leave a Comment

When I was pregnant with my first child I decided to have a home birth. To be honest I was taken aback at the level of hysteria this provoked among my nearest and dearest, “Are you crazy? What is wrong with you? Get thee to a hospital where no harm can befall you!” As it turns out there was absolutely nothing wrong with me and my baby was born in our living room with no drama, an experience marred only by the fact that Bon Jovi was on the radio as she popped out. I had put my faith in my body but also let’s face it, trusted that my midwife knew what she was on with. And she did. Turns out she had delivered quite a few babies and was a bit of an expert in all things child birth related – who knew? So who better to listen to in the run up to your birth than a midwife? Here, our midwife Nina tells you the top ten things she wants you to know about your pregnancy and birth:

 

1.   Always trust your instincts

If you’re anxious that your baby isn’t moving as much as usual, make sure you get it checked out. If you’ve been given advice that doesn’t sit right with you, seek a second opinion. You don’t have to say yes to things you don’t agree with and similarly your care should be tailored to suit you and your needs.

 

2.   Focus on your own pregnancy

What is normal for others may not be normal for you. Try not to be negatively influenced by others experiences or be drawn into competitive comparisons. Be prepared for things to change in pregnancy and birth and try to stay open minded. Try not to set too many expectations as some women are left with a sense of failure when things don’t go to their original plan. Instead, prepare your preferences and discuss with your midwife how you can achieve and apply these to different scenarios.

 

3.   We’re not judging you

You will be offered lots of advice from your midwife in an effort to empower you with evidence to make an informed choice. We know that what is right for some, won’t suit others. We want to support you with the choices you make.

 

4.   No question is too trivial

If you are anxious or uncertain about anything relating to your pregnancy, birth or newborn no question is too silly. It is far more preferable to ask your midwife than Dr Google. We may not always have the answer but we have a wealth of evidence based resources and solid working relations with multidisciplinary colleagues to turn to for answers,

 

5.   Embrace non-pharmacological coping strategies

Labouring using Hypnobirthing, relaxation techniques and water helps you stay calm, relax and feel in control.

 

6.   Always carry your pregnancy notes with you

Accidents are accidental and you never know when you’ll need to see a midwife or Doctor urgently.

 

7.   Learn about the changes that will happen to your body at different phases of pregnancy and labour

It will help you to understand and interpret the different feelings and sensations you will experience. It will also reduce stress and anxiety relating to these feelings and sensations. For example, stress and anxiety inhibits the natural flow of oxytocin which enables your uterus to contract and labour effectively.

 

8.   Ensure you have a supportive birth partner(s)

Choose someone who you can ‘let go’ with. Someone who will help you stay hydrated, energised and focused. Someone who may be able to offer words of encouragement, massage or even just maintain a quiet presence. Someone who just knowing they are there makes you feel safe.

 

9.   Don’t be rushed into making decisions

Ensure you have all the information you need to give consent or agree to a procedure. If you’re not sure what’s happening, ask the midwife to stop and explain:  What will it achieve? Why is it important? How will it happen? What are the risks? Some aspects of birth can feel like a blur, it is important to feel empowered and informed about your experience.

 

10. Take time to get to know your baby

Skin to skin is a fantastic way to bond with your baby, keeping them warm whilst ‘drinking in’ every detail of your newborn.



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