By My Expert Midwife co-founder and midwife, Lesley Gilchrist 

Parenting on Female First

Parenting on Female First

It’s ok to ask for help for anything that’s on your mind. In fact, your midwife will be a really good source of knowledge and know which trusted resources to signpost you towards. No question is a silly question. If something is bothering you, be it physical symptoms during your pregnancy or feeling anxious about pregnancy or birth, your midwife is likely to have heard it before. More importantly she will have a bank of knowledge and know where to refer you for the specific information you need.

It is your body, your baby, your birth and your choice. Many women still think that the midwife or doctor make the choices when it comes to pregnancy and birth. EVERYTHING is your choice, so make sure you research your options, make a birth plan so others know what is important to you and own your experience of labour and birth. You will remember your baby’s birthday for the rest of your life, and whilst labour and birth can sometimes be unpredictable, being informed about your choices is something you can control.

You can choose where you want to give birth. Most women think that their nearest hospital would be the automatic choice to give birth in, however there may be a few other options, depending on the area in which you live, that could suit you better. Hospital labour wards have different facilities regarding equipment, or there may be a birth centre, which is less medicalised, that you prefer.

Homebirth is safe. Having your baby at home is supported by research to be as safe as a hospital or birth centre if you are at low risk of complications. Women report being more comfortable in their own environment, as well as more satisfied with their birth experience and are more likely to breastfeed their babies for longer.

The toilet can help you to give birth. Sitting on the toilet is the perfect position to help widen your pelvis and encourage your baby to move downwards during labour. Opening your pelvis in this or other types of squatting positions can increase your pelvic outlet by almost 30% and every bit helps your baby to be born.

Perineal massage can help reduce the extent of tearing when giving birth – Anxiety about tearing is common. Perineal massage is a preparation technique during pregnancy where you massage the perineum (the area between the vagina and anus) to help improve elasticity and stretch for the birth. This can be done from 34 weeks in pregnancy and is proven to help reduce the extent of perineal trauma. 

Breastfeeding takes time and effort. Be prepared to just nurse your baby in the early weeks and not much else. Breastfeeding is a natural process, but it takes time for both you and your baby to learn how, especially if this is your first time. The best piece of advice is that for the first few weeks breastfeeding should be top of your list of priorities. If you can, utilise the help of family and friends for housework, making meals and childcare, so you can focus on your baby.

Spritz for Bits has been developed with a unique multi-directional spray to make it easy to apply directly to the perineal area as well as any other area of the body suffering from swelling, bruising or general discomfort. Alternatively, Spritz for Bits can be applied to a tissue and wiped over the area (vulva/anus) or soaked on to a maternity pad. For a soothing and comforting bath, pour straight into bath water. For cooling relief, store Spritz for Bits in the fridge.

www.myexpertmidwife.com


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