Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Archive for the ‘Bedfordshire’ Category

Where to start?  Every day is different, so I’m going to give you a flavour of the sort of things I get up to.

Of course I have antenatal appointments; from the first tentative telephone enquiry I then arrange to meet up with a potential client (usually for an hour or so) so that we can discuss their past experiences, their hopes for this pregnancy, their concerns and most importantly so that they can get a “feel” as to whether they actually like and trust me.  Once a couple have decided to book me as their midwife I then usually give all their antenatal care in their own home (although I have done antenatal visits in The Bank of England medical room!).  The format of visits is that I carry out all the usual blood tests, urine and blood pressure checks, but also leave a lot of time for discussion so that over the course of the pregnancy we cover issues such as waterbirth, Vitamin K, when to call me and so on.

My clients come from a wide area – I am happy to take clients who live within approximately an hour’s radius of my home in Leighton Buzzard – so I do spend a fair bit of time driving, as well as liaising with G.P.’s and hospitals where necessary.

Four times a year I jointly organise an Antenatal Exhibition, this is an opportunity for pregnant couples to gather information about breastfeeding, pregnancy yoga, cloth nappies and the like.  We also organise Birth Preparation Workshops and am often to be found at the Community Desk in Central Milton Keynes on hand to speak to expectant parents and also regularly attend Study Day’s and midwifery meetings to ensure that I keep myself up-to-date with current research.

Obviously I spend much of my time being “on-call” for births.  My own family are now pretty much grown-up and the commitment isn’t as big as one might imagine as I rarely have more than two births during a month – it is important that I don’t over-commit myself as the whole point of what I do is that I guarantee to be there for the birth.  Babies don’t always read the text books though!  I have had three births in one week, as of course some babies do come early and some come late!  As you will appreciate, the birth is the big event, and it can on occasion go on for some time.

Baby being here doesn’t mean that my job ends!  In fact, postnatal visiting is often one of the busiest times as the family may need quite a lot of support in the early days.  The majority of my clients choose to give birth at home; however some either need to, or choose to give birth in hospital.

I visit my clients for up to four weeks postnatally and it is a joy to see the baby thriving and although discharging clients is always tinged with sadness it is also great to know that I have played a part in helping the family on to the next stage of their life.  (I do usually keep in touch, perhaps not as often as I would like, but I often get e-mails and photographs and usually pop in when I’m passing!).

So, in summary I guess the main differences between me and an NHS midwife are that you are buying my time; antenatal visits usually take around an hour and a half (instead of perhaps 10 – 15 minutes at your local surgery), are arranged more frequently and take place at a time and place to suit you. Most importantly you will receive full continuity of care – I will see you at each visit to build our relationship and plan your care and you will know that (barring exceptional circumstances) I will be with you in labour and available 24/7 for urgent help.

I am always happy to discuss anything that you are concerned about; please do feel free to call.

Written by Valerie Gommon, BA (Hons), RM, Independent Midwife

www.3shiresmidwife.co.uk 01525 385153

I am excited to tell you that I have a new promotional video which details the work I do at www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ah9GBnStVQ

I also have several other videos hosted on YouTube and plan to add more as soon as possible; I should tell you that some of the content is explicit and shows graphic scenes of childbirth.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO0PRvxoEzM

www.youtube.com/watch?v=S086qWgUG38

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfFz2QSRiGs

Research suggests exercise during pregnancy can be good for the developing baby as well as for the mother www.news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8002560.stm

A study conducted by a team from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences suggests that exercise is linked to better foetal heart health and nervous system development.

This small scale research compared women who took moderate exercise with pregnant women who did not exercise regularly.

Dr Linda May, who led the study, said: “Foetal breathing movement and the nervous system were more mature in babies exposed to exercise.”  She went on to say that further research was needed, both to look at more pregnancies and to evaluate the health of babies once they had been born.

Obstetrician Patrick O’Brien said that although exercise is good for pregnant women they should consult their midwives and doctors because excessive exercise during pregnancy could be dangerous for the unborn baby; particularly if a woman becomes too hot or lets their heart rate go over 130 beats per minute, but he went on to say that there was is no increased risk of miscarriage or premature labour linked to exercise.  He also advised that women exercise at a level that enables them to comfortably hold a conversation.

As a midwife I advise clients that walking and swimming are excellent forms of exercise as are yoga or pilates taught by an appropriate person.  I would not advise strenous new exercise during pregnancy, but have had clients who have continued with their training, for example running during pregnancy.

I have recently met Faye Cooke who is based in Bedfordshire and near to Milton Keynes www.exercise4you.co.uk and feel confident to recommend her services to clients for antenatal and postnatal exercise classes.


Twitter