All posts filed under: Janine Smith

A unique range courses and support for expectant and new parents across Tyneside

A birth plan template for a better birth

When a birth plan focuses on what you want to happen in labour and birth, it can be dismissed as useless if there is no flexibility. So many women comment that they threw their birth plan away and this is why it needs to fit all births and focusing more on care and communication does that. Your birth plan Start with a brief introduction to say hello to your midwife, maybe include what you are aiming for and anything she needs to know such as anxiety, issues with movement, any medical issues. Intro – Hi, I am Kate. I would ideally like a waterbirth and I would like your help to work towards that. However, I also know that birth can be unpredictable so I would like your help to keep me informed, so I know my options and to work with my contractions. I can become anxious so I may need help to manage that and I like to be informed so I know what is going on and what my next steps can …

postnatal courses

May Conversations

Postnatal Conversations: “I always feel better after the Mother Cuppa sessions – less alone, supported and able to deal with the different challenges.” The Mother Cuppa Bump & Baby group runs each week – it is a place for conversation, questions, reassurance and support about all things bump, birth and baby. As an informal space, parents can offload and speak openly without judgement or criticism – there isn’t a right way to birth or parent and it is a unique experience for everyone. I also see parents one-to-one for more in-depth and specific conversations and support. No two months are ever the same and May was busy with birth preparation sessions, as well as older baby/going back to work sessions. The birth prep sessions have ranged from knowledge and focus as a first-time parent to preparing for birth again, with birth debriefs, induction preparation and new baby prep in-between. In addition to practical information and strategies we have talked through fears and concerns, their individual needs and could help them. Postnatal sessions have focused on …

birth wellbeing

12 practical ways to boost your birth wellbeing

What do I mean by birth wellbeing? Well, it’s really easy to focus on contractions and to forget to think about what you might need to be physically and mentally well during labour and birth. Labour and birth has it’s own pace, it can demand a lot from you and that is normal and to be expected. No-one knows what the pace of their labour will be before it starts so realistic preparation so you can look after you is important. The thought of labour and birth can make expectant parents question things that they wouldn’t normally think about – can I eat, will I be allowed to move, what if I need the toilet? what if I don’t understand what’s happening? will I be allowed off the bed? So let’s run through the essentials of birth wellbeing so you feel less detached from your basic needs. Ideas for your birth wellbeing… Everyone’s labour and birth is different and you will have your own needs, which is why focusing on what you need is important …

challenges of birth

Do you know how to prepare well for the challenges of birth?

The challenges of birth will be unique to you – what one woman finds challenging, another woman is okay with. Labour and birth preparation needs to be more than focusing on the straight-forward – challenges exist so there is power in acknowledging them and know more about how to work with them. And I’m not talking about complications of birth, when medical intervention is needed, challenges are normal and can occur during a straight-forward birth. What might the challenges of birth be? the position of your baby, which can cause backache, tiredness and a long labour the intensity of contractions fear and feeling overwhelmed a long labour which can be exhausting a fast labour with powerful contractions which are close together being induced, which can feel more medical than a spontaneous labour having an epidural, monitoring and being on a bed And how can you deal with the challenges of birth? Having strategies to use, going with your instincts and knowing your options means you can make decisions, say what you need and keep putting …

young working mother cuddling baby and using laptop at home

Postnatal Conversations In April

Postnatal Conversations: “Your sessions are like therapy – we get to offload and talk openly.” All of my sessions – groups and consultations – are focused on you as a parent – in pregnancy, with a baby, with a young family, so you can be open. We’ve had so many postnatal conversations this month, so much of it about the different aspects of change and the challenges that come with being a parent, specifically being a mum. It’s important to stress that no-one is particularly unhappy, there can be plenty of chat and laughter during sessions, as well as pride and contentness. But there is also exhaustion, loneliness, moods, lack of confidence, adjusting and resentment. We have talked about friendship changes and challenges within relationships. For some people friends can shift when a baby comes along because your social life takes a hit and you don’t have the energy for going out or listening to other people’s problems. And relationships can change in couples – you are going from a couple to a family or …