Potential discrepancies between antenatal teaching and grass-root midwifery care

Ok, so as some of you know, I was in the very fortunate position to be at the birth of a friend of mine.

It was truly magical and moving, on so many levels, and yet I have come away somewhat annoyed at the midwifery system.

As a hypnobirthing instructor and a geek of all things pregnancy and birth, I had read carefully through my friend’s birth plan – nothing was out of the ordinary or seemed short-sighted in any way, which would compromise her or her baby. And yet when it came to ‘the day of action’, the direction from the hospital care left a somewhat bitter taste…here’s how the story goes…

My friend had been labouring at home,  and for the first four hours she was relaxed, focused and breathing. As the hours passed, I could see that things were progressively intensifying.

Instinctively, she ‘felt’ when she was ready to transfer to hospital. 

I could visibly see that each contraction / surge was needing much more focus and was lasting longer.

Upon arrival to hospital again, things were ramping up further, each surge become a little harder to get through… She was coping brilliantly.

To my delight, the reception area was silent and we were seen to immediately. In triage, the midwife wanted her on the bed to be examined. When I informed her that she didn’t want to be examined, we were challenged and made to feel that we were asking for a ludicrous request. 

“Everyone must be examined, otherwise how will we know how far gone she is?” -was her response. “We won’t move her to the labour ward until we know how dilated she is.” She said in another breath.

I tried to explain my background and that the antenatal community advocates that the woman has every right to decline Vaginal Examinations (VE). She huffed off to get the consultant!!

Upon his arrival, he too insisted that a VE was ‘for the best.’ We relented. [Sigh]

The good news was that she was very far along and that it was likely that baby would soon be making an appearance.

On moving to the labour ward, we spent a  ridiculous amount of time answering basic questions; answers that could have been found in the maternity notes – and in my opinion, have no place in the labour ward (what number pregnancy is this? Do you have allergies etc etc)…

Why is there no central database for this information??? They’ve had 6 months to log this in!!! [Second sigh].
While trying be helpful with the labour midwife – answering these questions as best I could – she reprimanded me for being too close to the computer monitor and asked me why I was watching her. To which I replied something along the lines of ‘It’s nicer to speak to someone up close rather than talking over a labouring woman. And that it was my natural curiousity as to why I was observing what she was doing’ – nothing else. She clearly wasn’t happy with me.

A little while later, she saw me going over the birth plan (I just wanted to refresh myself on her wishes) to which she asked me what was I reading, and could she ‘have it’. She hadn’t even bothered to look inside the maternity notes to find her copy (now I’m beginning to get frustrated and can see first-hand, outside of being in labour myself, why midwives sometimes have this bad reputation).

Our next ‘battle’ was whether my friend needed to be continually monitored. Research suggests that being monitored continuously has no increased benefit, than being monitored intermittently with a Doppler. But because of a previous C-section, should we decline ‘we might put baby at risk’. [Third sigh] Yes another conflicting message between antenatal teaching and what happens with the labour team on the ground.

So we relented again.

Within a short while, contractions were becoming quite uncomfortable for her. She was now starting to ask for pain relief. On this point, I was quite firm with her. Considering how brilliantly she had done up until this point and knowing that pain relief doesn’t always work on her, I encouraged her to try a bit longer.

But as time passed, her pleas changed and it was clear that she needed some help. But as she was so far dilated, our only option was to have her waters broken (something that I was personally worried about her having done) but as it was the only option and she really wanted some assistance we consented. [A small sigh from me].

True to the midwife’s word baby came very quickly after that and I got to witness the beautiful birth of an adorable baby – just as I teach, ‘in the most usual way’.

Now that time has passed, I have reflected on the experience.

While the antenatal community, including independent midwives, explain the choices that mums have. In reality, it comes down to the midwife on the day, her knowledge, her experience and maybe the outcomes that she has witnessed first-hand.

There are some things that I wished were different, but in reality what do I have to be annoyed at?

She had a beautiful birth, delivered a happy, calm and healthy baby. So ok, so things didn’t go according to plan… But then that’s why we’re trying to move away from calling them birth plans, but instead calling them birth preferences. 

We have to accept that we have to be flexible, as we’re just not sure, nor can we predict what will happen on the day. 

Go with the flow, use BRAINS

B – Benefits

R – Risks

A – Alternatives

I – Instinct

N – Nothing

S – Smile

Don’t give birth with your eyes wide shut

OK so you have two choices:

1. Be informed and prepared
2. Wing it on the day

Most mums, especially first-time mums will be taking in as much information about the journey of their pregnancy – reading books, going on websites, watching videos etc. etc.

Those ladies who choose to have birth in hospital thinking ‘well where else would I have it?‘ usually just rock-up to hospital when the contractions start and let the midwives take care of the rest.

What if you are one of those ladies whose baby decides not to show up on your estimated due date? Often there is panic and stress as to why your body isn’t going spontaneously into labour – and then everyone caring for you is determined for you to have an induction.

But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if you had choices? Would you like to be in control of your labour and birth? (You can be). Would you like to have a say as to how you want your labour to be (How you choose to birth is YOUR right. No one tells you what you ‘have’ to do).

However, this can only be achieved if you are informed and prepared, knowing and understanding what the options are and what the pros and cons to you and your baby are.

So how can you find all this information out?
This is where Magical Baby Moments can help. Our clasess are a fully-rounded antenatal class, that teaches you:
– How to decide your birth preferences
– What is happening to your body during labour
– What you are expected to be feeling through the various stages of labour
– Ways to remain calm and relaxed during the pregnancy, labour and birth
– Understanding the options should your birth take a different path
– Teaching your birth partner how to have an active and invaluable part in supporitng you during labour
– and much, much more…

Hypnobirthing
We all know that babies are expensive and perhaps the thought of a hypnobirthing class is just one expense that you think you don’t need. (Loads of women give birth without doing this class). But just take a moment to read below…

Those that do…
– Often have a calmer more enjoyable pregnancy
Less anxiety towards the end of the pregnancy when the due date is looming
A birth partner that understands the path that you would like to take and supports you the entire way
– Often labour is shorter, as the mum knows how to relax which is more efficient on the body
Relies less on pain relief, as she has faith in nature and her body
– Some describe their birth as ‘pain-free’
– Looks back on birth as an empowering experience

If you want to wing it on the day…that’s totally fine…But if you would like me to help you and your birth partner prepare for a wonderful and positive birth experience, then get in touch.

10% off at Mothercare

Would you like 10% off all your upcoming baby purchases?

We all know babies are expensive, but Mothercare are offering a 10% discount to all shoppers in the Romford store.


If you would like to get this voucher you can do so in three simple steps.

1. Look up Magical Baby Moments page on Facebook 

2. Like my page

3. Email me at enquiries@magicalbabymoments.com, saying you would like the discount.

Once you’ve done all three steps, I’ll email you how you can get 10% off Mothercare products*

Plus you can get a goodie bag too!!

* Sale items/group offers may not be subject to the offer.

Offer ends 22/6/16

5 ways to look forward to your baby’s arrival

Are you expecting a baby and fearful of labour? Are you only being told the bad stuff, the horror stories? Has anyone shared with you their positive experiences? (Had they done hypnobirthing?)

Maybe it’s your first pregnancy and you’re scared because you’ve never been through it. You perhaps can’t quite imagine what it’s going to be like. Maybe you wonder if you’ll know what to expect from labour and how you’re going to cope?

Or possibly you’ve been through labour before, but for whatever reason it didn’t work out quite how you thought or wanted, and for this pregnancy you’re looking for a better experience.


Here are 5 simple ways to look forward to your birth:

1.Be informed 

Knowing what your options are in your lasts days of pregnancy, during labour and straight after birth is essential. Understanding what choices you can make and how you can influence your baby’s birth path, will fill you with confidence and allow you to make the right decision for you and your baby.

Magical Baby Moments can talk you through the options and the pros and cons of each situation.

2.Think through your birth preferences

Many people will tell you that ‘no one read my birth plan’ or ‘my birth plan went out of the window’. Labour and birth are unpredictable; no two births are quite the same, which is why we refer to them as ‘birth preferences’. Knowing what you would like and wouldn’t like is a starting point for you achieving a positive birth experience. Take control!

Magical Baby Moments will talk through all the common scenarios and options, so that you are confident with your choices and preferences.

3.Understand the journey that you baby is about to undertake

Many women will be told about the ‘pain’ of giving birth, and that is all they are told (with a lot of frowns and sucking-the-air-through-teeth dramatic story telling). Giving birth is not some rite of passage; it is a journey, where your body cleverly and instinctively knows how to get your baby out safely and gently. The ‘pain’ is FEAR and reluctance to trust in your body. If you let go of the fear and allow your body to give birth and you will be able to tell your friends how wonderful giving birth is.

Magical Baby Moments will teach you what your body has to undertake to give birth and it will teach you techniques to remain calm and relaxed through breathing and visualisations.

4.Prepare to be mental

No I am not talking about turning into a possessed woman…though TV and films would have you think that. I am talking about thinking positively. Imagining how you want your birth to be. Remember the mind has the power over the body, so you can influence what happens on the day.

Magical Baby Moments will give you lots of tools and tips to remain positive, think optimistically and provide you with many affirmations that you can read over and over during your pregnancy.

5.Don’t do it alone

Giving birth is a magical experience that you should never have to do alone. So whoever you choose as your birth partner, they should be included in the planning process. As the corny phrase goes…Fail to plan, plan to fail. Without telling your birth partner how you would like things to be, how are they going to help you achieve this?

Magical Baby Moments will help you and your birth partner plan the birth that YOU want and will show them just how important they are in being there by your side, every step of the way.

If you want to have the birth of your dreams; one that is calm, relaxed and where you and your birth partner are confident from start to finish, then join one of Magical Baby Moments classes. You can find out here about when the classes take place.

Or if you have some questions, I am happy to give you a call – no strings attached! Just fill out the form with your details.

Please call me, so that I can understand hypnobirthing better. 

SUBMIT YOUR DETAILS

#magicalbabymoments #hypnobirthing #hypnobirthingclasses #kghypnobirthing #labour #birth #pregnancy #pregnant #hypnobirthingclassesessex #calmbirth #positivebirth #Romford #ilford #brentwood #gideapark #rainham #essex #eastlondon

5 ways to look forward to your baby’s arrival

Are you expecting a baby and fearful of labour? Are you only being told the bad stuff, the horror stories? Has anyone shared with you their positive experiences? (Had they done hypnobirthing?)

Maybe it’s your first pregnancy and you’re scared because you’ve never been through it. You perhaps can’t quite imagine what it’s going to be like. Maybe you wonder if you’ll know what to expect from labour and how you’re going to cope?

Or possibly you’ve been through labour before, but for whatever reason it didn’t work out quite how you thought or wanted, and for this pregnancy you’re looking for a better experience.


Here are 5 simple ways to look forward to your birth:

1.Be informed 

Knowing what your options are in your lasts days of pregnancy, during labour and straight after birth is essential. Understanding what choices you can make and how you can influence your baby’s birth path, will fill you with confidence and allow you to make the right decision for you and your baby.

Magical Baby Moments can talk you through the options and the pros and cons of each situation.

2.Think through your birth preferences

Many people will tell you that ‘no one read my birth plan’ or ‘my birth plan went out of the window’. Labour and birth are unpredictable; no two births are quite the same, which is why we refer to them as ‘birth preferences’. Knowing what you would like and wouldn’t like is a starting point for you achieving a positive birth experience. Take control!

Magical Baby Moments will talk through all the common scenarios and options, so that you are confident with your choices and preferences.

3.Understand the journey that you baby is about to undertake

Many women will be told about the ‘pain’ of giving birth, and that is all they are told (with a lot of frowns and sucking-the-air-through-teeth dramatic story telling). Giving birth is not some rite of passage; it is a journey, where your body cleverly and instinctively knows how to get your baby out safely and gently. The ‘pain’ is FEAR and reluctance to trust in your body. If you let go of the fear and allow your body to give birth and you will be able to tell your friends how wonderful giving birth is.

Magical Baby Moments will teach you what your body has to undertake to give birth and it will teach you techniques to remain calm and relaxed through breathing and visualisations.

4.Prepare to be mental

No, I am not talking about turning into a possessed woman…though TV and films would have you think that. I am talking about thinking positively. Imagining how you want your birth to be. Remember, the mind has the power over the body, so you can influence what happens on the day.

Magical Baby Moments will give you lots of tools and tips to remain positive, think optimistically and provide you with many affirmations that you can read over and over during your pregnancy.

5.Don’t do it alone

Giving birth is a magical experience that you should never have to do alone. So whoever you choose as your birth partner, they should be included in the planning process. As the corny phrase goes…Fail to plan, plan to fail. Without telling your birth partner how you would like things to be, how are they going to help you achieve this?

Magical Baby Moments will help you and your birth partner plan the birth that YOU want and will show them just how important they are in being there by your side, every step of the way.

If you want to have the birth of your dreams; one that is calm, relaxed and where you and your birth partner are confident from start to finish, then join one of Magical Baby Moments classes. You can find out here about when the classes take place.

Or if you have some questions, I am happy to give you a call – no strings attached! Just fill out the form with your details.

Please call me, so that I can understand hypnobirthing better. 

SUBMIT YOUR DETAILS

#magicalbabymoments #hypnobirthing #hypnobirthingclasses #hypnobirthingclassesessex #kghypnobirthing #labour #birth #pregnancy #pregnant #calmbirth #positivebirth #Romford #ilford #brentwood #gideapark #rainham #essex #eastlondon