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!
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).
Ok, maybe don't go filling your hospital bag with a pack of 'easy peelers' just yet, but I've been reading into the research behind aromatherapy use during birth this week, (you know I'm a sucker for a bit of evidence) and it's showing some exciting things. In several of the trials using aromatherapy oils, it was shown to reduce a mother's perception of both pain and anxiety (which, as we all know through hypnobirthing are directly related anyway)- and in some cases reduce the overall length of labour and bring down a raised blood pressure too! (The research has also shown that there are no current known adverse effects from using the oils below).
About a year ago, I was supporting a couple through labour when things began to stall.. contractions slowed down.. and mum and baby were both showing signs of getting tired. She’d tried changing position, going for a wee, all the oxytocin inducing techniques, but it wasn’t speeding back up.. hmm we were thinking, what next? THEN, she ate a single, mini jammy dodger… We were back in business!! Things picked back up, and within the hour, she birthed her baby naturally, in the pool, like the absolute superhero she was!
A discussion that comes up a lot in our classes is that around ‘water birth’. Water can be used as a comfort measure during labour, and some women choose to birth their baby in the pool too. There are HUNDREDS of studies into using water immersion during labour and birth, so in today’s post I’ll have a look at the biggest and most reliable studied around waterbirth, which will hopefully assist you when putting together your birth preferences.
I was discussing in our hypnobirthing classes earlier this week, ways to help baby move from a breech or transverse to a head down position. We got discussing various recommended techniques and conversations led to 'Moxibustion'. Now, breech presentation will get a whole blog post of it's own, as will the other suggested methods of helping baby turn, but here I'm going to be looking at moxibustion- what is it? And will it help?
Fancy a date? No not that kind of date, though I’d totally advise squeezing in as many cinema trips and dinners out as you can before the baby arrives! Oxytocin, bonding and all that!
I’m talking about the sweet fruit kind! Historically, eating dates in pregnancy has been recommended for years in cultures that eat a lot of dates, it’s even mentioned in The Quran! But what does that mean for a twenty first Century mum to be? Is it as nonsensical as the bible passage we base ‘due dates’ on? Or is it science?
So I keep going on about how important it is to know all your options in order make an informed decision, but how do you know that what you’re reading on the internet is evidence based, and not just a random anecdote of the feelings of some lady’s cousin’s wife’s daughter?!
If you’re looking for actual evidence based information- these are the resources I would recommend. They vary from very easy to access information, to very in depth research papers, pick whichever feels most suitable for you, even the most basic information can help you prepare for an empowered, informed birth experience.