All posts filed under: Questions

antenatal classes

What are contractions and what can you do to manage them well?

We know that labour involves contractions but what are contractions? Your baby grows inside your uterus, which contains long muscles. In labour, these muscles need to shorten, to open and dilate the cervix. A contraction is the tightening of these uterus muscles which increase in frequency and intensity during labour and birth. The hormone oxytocin affects the pace and strength of contractions throughout labour and birth. The cervix responds to the oxytocin by opening when it is ripe and ready for labour. Oxytocin receptors across the uterus respond to the oxytocin by creating a contraction, which begins at the top of the uterus and then waves downwards. What are contractions: pattern and pace Every woman has their own pattern of contractions – typically they are about a minute long during established labour but this can vary, as can the pause in-between contractions. While contractions need to be strong and regular to be effective, there isn’t one pattern that is correct. Oxytocin is an essential part of labour and it has an influential role to play …

pregnant woman using a laptop

Do I need a birthplan?

No! But a birthplan can be a powerful tool, it just needs to be realistic. Don’t actually expect to use a birthplan to plan or control because… it’s a way to communicate what matters to you it’s being included and informed it’s saying what your preferences are it’s saying what support you might need How to use a birthplan Writing a birthplan can help you to discuss, prepare and think about the birth of your baby, so you have the practical knowledge you need to be better informed for all births, not just your ideal birth. Include your partner so they are included and know more about how they can help and what you might need. You could also think of a birthplan as birth preferences, birth strategies or birth wishes. Or even as a letter to your midwife to say what could be useful for you, what matters to you and what you might need support with. Working with parents since 2002 Say hello…Instagram | Facebook Group | Linkedin

pregnancy cravings

I have heard that some pregnancy cravings are weird. Is this true?

Pregnancy cravings can be fabulously weird and wonderful and they can be pretty powerful with an over whelming urge to eat whatever it is you desire. It can vary from the healthier foods (fruit) to the not-so-healthy (sweets and fizzy drinks) with a range of odd combinations and non-foods (ice and clay) And you might not crave food at all – it could be all about smells. Here’s a selection of pregnancy cravings in your words… Double Deckers & bread. Nothing with too much flavour thank you very much! Sherbet Dib Dabs – couldn’t get enough of them Baby oranges and Mars Bar ice creams Ice lollies, cakes and sweets Clay Fruit Sponge chewing Pineapple Really cold water and apples Mint Magnums Broccoli and potato waffles Satsumas and cherry tomatoes Beetroot and ice cubes Blood oranges, sour strawberry laces and, erm, the small of rubber tyres in Halfords Capers, olives and anchovies Marmite as a dip for carrot sticks, pickled onions and cheese Chocolate milk and marmite toast Kiwi fruits and Big Macs Coco Pops …

hands holding pregnancy test kit

What can the different pregnancy symptoms feel like?

Pregnancy symptoms can vary so much – ranging from powerful to mild and some people don’t experience any symptoms at all. The common symptoms we focus on are sickness and nausea with sore boobs but the signs can be much more subtle than that. For many women it can about ‘just knowing’ or feeling a bit different. Your pregnancy symptoms will be totally unique to you. Here’s pregnancy symptoms in your words Sore boobs! I had Carpal Tunnel Syndrome straight away The first time I was pregnant, I just knew as in I had a feeling – I did a test and there it was. I knew before I did a test and before my period was due. I took a test because the wine I was drinking tasted disgusting! Sore boobs from day one! I didn’t know until I had missed two periods – I thought I was stressed with my new job. And then morning sickness kicked in. I felt hungover for weeks Sense of smell, sore boobs and feeling sick Like a …

group b strep

I am worried about Group B Strep, what do I need to know?

Group B Strep (GBS) is a common bacteria, with about 20-40% of women carrying it. It is usually harmless but it can carry a risk to a baby during birth. Routine testing for Group B Strep doesn’t take place in the UK for a number of reasons: Screening tests aren’t accurate. According to Tommy’s, 17-25% of women with a positive swab at 35-37 weeks of pregnancy would be negative by the time of giving birth. And 5-7% of women who are negative at 35-37 weeks would be positive at delivery. Premature babies are affected more by GBS, which is before the screening would take place. There is a concern about giving antibiotics unnecessarily to a higher number of women and babies. If you are worried about Group B Strep I speak to lots of women who are worried about the lack of routine testing for GBS. Testing isn’t routinely offered on the NHS but you may be tested if you had GBS in a previous pregnancy. Talk to your midwife about your concerns and find …