Valerie Gommon Midwife’s Blog

Archive for the ‘pregnancy’ Category

PRESS RELEASE ISSUED 8th December 2011 by IM UK

RESPONSE TO CONTROVERSY OVER
PRIVATE MIDWIFERY PROVIDER:

SOCIAL ENTERPRISE PROVIDES THE ANSWER
IM UK reads with interest the mixed reactions to news of a contract between private midwifery provider One to One (Northwest) Ltd and NHS Wirral.  The service offered is one the NHS can rarely deliver: continuity of care from a midwife the woman knows, through pregnancy, birth and postnatally. However, concerns have been expressed about the impact of profit-driven private providers on the NHS.

“IM UK believes that the answer lies in social enterprise midwifery: continuity of care delivered by an organisation run by midwives and service users for the benefit of the local community,” states Annie Francis of IM UK.

“That is why we are establishing a social enterprise, named Neighbourhood Midwives, to offer local, community based midwifery services.  Care will be free at the point of access for women but provided by a social enterprise, whose values and culture are firmly rooted in a social mission and purpose. We are well down the path and are ready to provide services from April 2012.

“We are keen to be fully integrated into the whole maternity care pathway, ideally through the planned networks currently being discussed. We will be able to offer care to women planning a homebirth but often unable to access this choice because of current shortages of midwives within the NHS.”

Historically, insurance issues have been a barrier for not-for-profit providers.  During recent debates on the Health and Social Care Bill, Baroness Julia Cumberledge emphasised the need for social enterprise organisations such as Neighbourhood Midwives to be able to access insurance via the NHS Litigation Authority (NHSLA). 
For further information contact:
Annie Francis
07977695948
annie.francis@independentmidwives.org.uk

Jill Crawford
07870924857
jill.crawford@independentmidwives.org.uk

I’ve just been listening to the latest episode of The Archers where Helen has just had an emergency caesarean section for pre-eclampsia and thought that it would be a useful subject to write about.

I think it is fantastic that the subject has been covered by the radio programme and on the whole they have got it right (wouldn’t expect anything less from The Archers!) but I would like to add a bit more.

Pre-eclampsia is a potentially serious condition of pregnancy that we are still learning about.  For serious pre-eclampsia the only treatment is to deliver the baby (sometimes prematurely), however for most pregnancies the pre-eclampsia can be monitored and the labour may well start normally and spontaneously, or the labour may be induced around your due date and you may well have a normal birth.

Pre-eclampsia is one of the things that your midwife is looking for antenatally and is usually characterised by a collection of symptoms: raised blood pressure, protein in your urine, swelling (oedema), headaches, visual disturbances and upper abdominal (epigastric) pain.

Many women will experience one or more of these symptoms without developing pre-eclampsia, but if you have two or more symptoms or feel concerned you should definitely speak to your midwife urgently.  For example many women will have a headache or some swelling and this is normal during pregnancy – it is usually only when you have several symptoms that pre-eclampsia is suspected and you will then be referred to hospital for further investigations including blood and urine test and monitoring of the baby’s wellbeing.

Women at increased risk of pre-eclampsia include:

  • Those in their first pregnancy
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having certain blood clotting disorders, diabetes, kidney disease, or an autoimmune disease like lupus
  • Having a close relative (a mother, sister, grandmother, or aunt, for example) who had preeclampsia
  • Being obese (having a body mass index of 30 or more)
  • Carrying two or more babies
  • Being younger than 20 or older than 40

However if you fall into any of these categories you are still more likely NOT to get pre-eclampsia.

There is some evidence (though not mainstream) that pre-eclampsia may be prevented by eating a really healthy diet and by increasing your protein and salt intake.  It may also be beneficial to stop work slightly earlier in your pregnancy and not to overdo things at the end of the pregnancy.

More information on the dietary aspect can be found at https://midwifevalerie.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/dietary-suggestions-for-pregnancy-from-tom-brewer/

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2010. That’s about 9 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 53 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 172 posts. There were 2 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2mb.

The busiest day of the year was April 7th with 144 views. The most popular post that day was Birth before the arrival of a midwife.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were 3shiresmidwife.co.uk, facebook.com, en.wordpress.com, twitter.com, and studentmidwife.net.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for midwife blog, valerie gommon, skinny women and pregnancy, albany midwives suspended, and placentophagy research.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Birth before the arrival of a midwife May 2009

2

“Super skinny pregnancies” March 2009
6 comments

3

Independent Midwifery and snow Part II January 2010
4 comments

4

Eating the placenta (placentophagy)? October 2009
3 comments

5

Freebirthing / Unassisted birth May 2009
5 comments

I guess the first choice is where do you want to give birth, at home, in a birthing centre or in a hospital?  Although you may be asked this at your first appointment you can actually decide at any time, even when you are in labour (although it may be easier if you make plans earlier).

There are so many factors to take into account, but the most important thing is to give birth where you feel safest.  Labour is a very instinctive, hormonal event and if you are scared or unhappy with your environment you will not labour so easily.

Homebirth:

There are many benefits to be gained by giving birth at home.  The woman is in familiar surroundings and is therefore more relaxed allowing the birthing hormones to work properly.  Labour is usually shorter, less painful and the mother is more likely to have a normal birth (so less need for ventouse, forceps or caesareans), she is more likely to breastfeed and less likely to suffer postnatal depression and she is more likely to report that she is satisfied with her experience.  These claims are backed up by research and evidence can be found at www.nct.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/research/roepregnancy-birth

Birth Centre/Midwifery Led Unit:

These are often seen as a half-way house between home and hospital.  They have many of the benefits of home, a more relaxed environment but if you are concerned about the privacy aspect of birth (for example if you live in a shared house, or are concerned about the neighbours) or the mess (which in reality is rarely an issue) then a birth centre may be right for you.

Birth Centres are only an option for women whose pregnancy is defined as “low risk” which means that the birth is expected to progress without complication.  Should a complication occur you will need to be transferred into a hospital where more advanced help is available.

Hospital:

Many women choose to give birth in hospital because they believe it to be the safest place.  Of course it is true that the hospital will have advanced facilities if needed however you should also bear in mind that sometimes these facilities are over-used and that just by setting foot in a hospital you increase your chance of using some of that help!  If you choose to give birth in hospital my top tip would be to stay at home as long as possible.

Waterbirth:

I think the use of water in a labour and birth can be hugely beneficial.  I recognise that not all women will want or need a waterbirth, but I would strongly recommend all women not to rule the use of water out.  It may be that you use water by having a bath or shower in labour; it can be hugely comforting to have shower water jetting onto your tummy or back whilst in labour.

As I see it, if we are achy or tense a bath is usually helpful.  It works in just the same way in labour; water is usually relaxing.  Another benefit is that women are much more mobile in labour and have their weight supported by the water making it easier to move around.  Lastly (dare I say it) if you are in a birthpool no one can interfere with you!  You are in your own space and are much more in control of what happens.

Most hospitals now have at least one birthing pool and if it is something that appeals to you I suggest you discuss it with your midwife and let the labour ward midwife know as soon as you arrive at the hospital.  For homebirths there is a considerable choice of birthpools available, for example rigid “bath” type pools that come with and without water heaters and inflatable pools.

Active birth:

Most midwives will agree that by being as active as possible you give yourself the best chance of having a normal birth.  In early labour listen to your body – if you can rest then do so, if you can eat then have something to eat and also make sure you drink plenty and pass urine frequently.  As the labour progresses keep changing position as your body directs; some women want to squat, be on all fours, pace around … most importantly change your position don’t just take to bed.  Being active and gravity will help you baby find its way through your pelvis and may well shorten your labour.

Antenatally it is helpful to prepare for the labour by undertaking gentle exercise, perhaps walking, swimming or yoga.  I wish you a lovely birth wherever you decide it should be!

Guest blog written by Naomi Edwards

Over the last few days I have been thinking about the saying Yummy Mummy and if there is really such a thing in the real world. There is also the impression that Yummy Mummies are rich or famous, spend their time lunching and shopping. There was also a recent article about women being educated on weight management throughout and after pregnancy

I truly believe in the first 1-3 months of pregnancy the term Yummy Mummy err…..probably not, I became best of friends with my toilet (very close) and my bed was my confidant and the television became my entertainment and my clock( as I only knew what time is was due to daytime scheduled programming). So slummy YES, yummy NO. I probably didn’t even brush my teeth for that whole time because brushing my teeth made me want to be sick. In fact every time I did brush my teeth without fail I was hugging my best friend the toilet.

Once I got to about 6 month pregnant I found that my skin became radiant and my hair started to grow, my partner started paying me and my neat like bump more attention, in fact everyone started paying more attention towards to me. I have always had a love for clothes and this didn’t really change throughout pregnancy. The first chance I got to get up and out and dress up my bump I did it and I loved it.  I’m no Victoria Beckham but just because I was pregnant I didn’t stop being me. BUT THEN……..

My daughter came, right at the end of December and I remember firework going off while I was lying in my hospital bed and thinking,” What the hell is that… hmm I wonder what’s going on”. Then it dawn on me it was New Year’s Eve and from that point on nothing was important anymore just my little girl, oh and my other half Hehehe!!!  From this point on certainly, NO Yummy Mummy.

I receive a 4th degree tear in labour, and I found it very difficult to breastfeed. I had not long moved to an area (Milton Keynes) where I had no family or friends and I ended up in a very low place in the first 9 months after having my daughter. So the feeling of happiness and contentment I had through the last 6 months of pregnancy went right out the window.

I put my weight on after birth also which was very difficult to deal with, but I reckon that was definitely down to the daily lethal combination of snickers and sprite.  I spent all my days indoors in my partner jogging bottoms.  After being in a very low place for about a year  I decided that I had to start taking control and I needed to feel like me again.(After a long tearful long distance chat with my mum). How did I do this?  I did this through clothes I realised I needed to find me again. I learnt how to dress my new body shape and through clothes my confidence returned slowly but surely.  I started with very small step like just wearing lip gloss, new earrings and doing my hair even if I wasn’t going to leave the house that day.

There is so much pressure nowadays for women to snap back into shape after birth but let’s face it, it is almost impossible to do this. When would we find the time to be down the gym everyday unless you had one built into your home and you did it at naptime, but if you were slogging it out in the gym who the hell would do the laundry or cook dinner.

I feel it is very important that mothers don’t forget about themselves, but it something which shouldn’t be rush into, we are all not Victoria Beckham or Myleene Klass but I do think we should take some sort of inspiration from them in that, you don’t have to forget about yourself and how you look just because you are a mother.

I wanted to share my experience with other women and out of that came Match U Style Consultancy, I run workshop for mothers so they can understand their body shapes and get to grips with what type of clothes are right for them and work with the lifestyle. I also do individual consultations which involve a style analysis, wardrobe weeding and personal shopping sessions.

I believe with all my heart that if you look good, you feel good even if it’s just that initial moment when you look in the mirror before leaving to go to work, to the supermarket or out for dinner. If you look good on the outside you feel good on the inside.

Naomi Edwards is a Style Consultant for new mum and women with children. She has also launched a personal gift shopping service and a small online gift shop. She will also be launching an Awareness site for women to talk about taboo issues around Pregnancy, Birth and Motherhood early next year.

To find out more about her visit her website at www.matchustyle.co.uk http://www.facebook.com/matchustyle

 

The payment of the Health in Pregnancy Grant (HiPG) to all expectant mothers will end in 2011. This is part of the Government’s wider measures to tackle the UK ‘s current financial deficit, announced by the Chancellor in his Budget speech of 22 June 2010.

“The Government believes the payment of a universal HiPG to be a poorly targeted use of limited public funds, and abolishing it will help in its most urgent task of reducing the UK ’s financial deficit in a fair way.”

The Health in Pregnancy Grant was introduced in April 2009 and was intended to provide support for the general health and well-being of women in the later stages of pregnancy and to help meet wider costs in the run-up to birth.  It is a one-off payment of £190, payable to all pregnant women after they reach the 25th week of pregnancy.  The Government is proposing to introduce shortly a Bill in Parliament that will end entitlement to HiPG for women who reach the 25th week of their confinement on or after 1 January 2011.

The abolition of HiPG will not affect women who are currently pregnant, nor those who will reach the 25th week of pregnancy before 1 January 2011. They can still qualify for HiPG payments if on reaching the 25th week of pregnancy and before the baby is born, however they must submit a claim within 31 days of their midwives issuing them a certified claim form confirming their expected date of confinement.


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