Do you flick through your pregnancy notes and wonder what on earth they actually mean? Do you hear language being used around you and wish they would just speak in plain English?! Hopefully this glossary of medical terms will help you unpick some of what you are seeing and hearing, if you'd like anything added, just shout!
The first scan you have in pregnancy is an exciting moment for every parent to be. Until now, it’s often difficult to even believe that you are pregnant.. peeing on a stick just doesn’t seem like proof enough! And without a bump or feeling them wriggling inside, a small part of us wonders if we’re just imagining the whole thing!
But, scans in pregnancy aren’t ACTUALLY for us to just take a quick peep, find out the gender and take home a photograph. So, what are they for?
Having babies is expensive business right! There’s the classes, the clothes, the furniture, the buggy (that may as well be a small second hand car at that price)! Are you approaching the end of your pregnancy and working out whether its worth the extra £30-60 for a TENS machine? Maybe it would help to understand a little more how they work and why they may help.
‘We had our twelve week scan and saw our baby! Everything is looking ok, but they changed our due date! Which is funny, because we know when we conceived!’
This is a tale I hear all too often! Certainly a possibility if your date is pushed back a little, maybe you ovulated later than you thought… but often, the *new* date is a scientific impossibility.. if you catch my drift!
So you get the blue (or pink line) on your pregnancy test and your emotions start to soar! Then the reality of pregnancy kicks in and you start to feel tired, sick and your boobs hurt if anyone even looks at them. This pregnancy malarkey is tough! And to top it all off when you have a raging headache there is nothing you can do about it, you can’t take this, you can’t take that, don’t do this don’t do that. Your life seems to revolve around the dos and don’t like never before, your anxiety reaches an all-time high as you have no idea if that little bundle is happy in there or not and you cry at everything, you don’t even want to cry, but you can’t get the top off your marmite jar and it feels like the end of the world is coming. Then the guilt kicks in, you should be enjoying every moment of this gift you have been given, growing a little life. Actually, pregnancy is bloody hard! But all is not lost there is something you can to help find emotional balance and physical comfort. Essential oils!
Have you been offered a ‘stretch and sweep’.. do you actually know what is it, what it involves and what it might mean for your labour and birth?
A membrane sweep involves a vaginal examination, where your midwife or doctor will insert a finger into your cervix (so an effective sweep requires your cervix to be open at least a little), sweep their finger around the inside of the cervix, in order to separate the membranes (or sac) surrounding your baby, and potentially stimulate the cervix enough to bring on contractions. It can be a particularly uncomfortable procedure and may or may not be a helpful first stage of induction. (But it is that, a method of induction).
I'm really pleased to welcome Shona Baxter onto the blog today. It's easy to forget that BIRTH is just the start of a very long, hugely rewarding, but often difficult road of parenthood! And one of the first things we have to comprehend is keeping our babies FED! Firstly the decisions of how we want to feed them, then the muddle of actually working out how to do that! Shona shares her breastfeeding journey with us today..
I'm really excited to welcome Helen Wright, founder of BirthWright and Placenta specialist as this week's guest blogger. Placenta encapsulation wasn't something I looked much into for my own postnatal period, but as something a lot of women are becoming more interested in, I was keen to find out more! At present there's only anecdotal evidence to describe the benefits, but that doesn't necessarily mean that there aren't any! (Just that no one has put the money into proving it - or not). For a look into the current evidence you can click here. If you have further questions about Placenta Encapsulation you can join us in The Positively Birthing Space on Facebook for Helen's Live Q&A soon!
It’s safe to assume, that since the human race has existed for millenia, the female body is pretty capable of giving birth! In fact, it was designed to do so! From an obvious perspective- we have a uterus (home for baby) and a vagina (exit route for baby!), but it’s not quite as simple as that! What is happening physiologically in our bodies throughout pregnancy and birth, is complex, but to a point- within our control! We can do, say and think things that could stall labour in it’s tracks.. or we can do, say and think things that help it do it’s job exactly as it needs to!
The key to it all, lies in understanding the hormones!