Sunday, 26 February 2012

Birthing in the pool

I have just spent the weekend having two of the most amazing gentle pool births that you could ever imagine. I love it. Working on the birth centre at North Manchester General Hospital is just the perfect job for any midwife.
Both the women that I have cared for over the weekend said they coped so much better after entering our lovely birthing pools and are going to recommend them to their friends. Giving birth in nice warm water is a more natural way to birth for baby, she is already used to an aquatic environment. Heat is a universal source of comfort for all ages and being surrounded by warm water whilst giving birth seems to cocoon women in a security blanket that most do not want to leave after the birth.
Birth centres cater for low risk women, ask your community midwife if you are low risk and if so ask her to book you in at your local birth centre. Normal labour wards can still have birthing pools, though they do not get used as much. Even if you have risk factors, ask the labour ward where you are booked if you can use the pool. Always remember that you are the boss. All maternity care is offered as a service, with you as the client. When you go to the hairdressers and ask for a certain style, you would not be happy if they said that style was not available and you could only have a crew cut instead. Well, not unless you like that sort of thing. Write your birth plan before you are in labour. Have someone calm and confident with you so they can fight your corner if necessary, leaving you to focus on your relaxing. Stay upright untill you are in the pool, the water will then negate the pull of gravity and you can adopt whatever position is comfortable for you at the time. Floating has been the mode of choice this weekend. Love it.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Birth Centres

Having just worked for 3 months at a wonderful birth centre, I am more awestruck that ever at how wonderful women are. They have been taught that childbirth will be very painful, by the society that they live in, and yet they still get pregnant and they still come back for more. Awesome. While working on the birth centre I have met some lovely people and have helped them to have a pain free first stage of labour for most. It is very difficult to teach women relaxation techniques in the middle of their labours. Relaxation really must be practised during the pregnancy as outlined in earlier posts on this blog. However, I have found that some women are capable of taking a step back from their pain and discomfort and trying the methods that I teach. Once they are upright on a chair or ball and in a more relaxed and controlled state of mind they look up at me and say "Why has no one ever told me it can be this way before?" That is a very good question. I have now been told that I have to leave the birth centre and move to another ward. They knock me down, but I get up again. I have an article to be published in Midwifery Matters in the Spring issue that aims to teach midwives how to help women labour. Please help spread the word. Thank you.