Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year 

To all our mums, mums to be and their families (whanau).  Have a wonderful and safe time.

Friday, December 28, 2012

8 ways to manage labour pain

     "They don't call it labor for nothing. Having a baby is hard work, and part of that work is getting through the pain. But don't panic. There are more ways than ever to manage that pain, and you don't have to choose just one. "The trick is to have as many tools in your bag as possible," says Kim Hildebrand Cardoso, a certified nurse-midwife in Berkeley, California, and a mother of two. "You don't know what's going to work until you're in it, and what helps a woman at one point can change five minutes later." That's why it's important to keep an open mind and do your research. So take a deep breath (good practice for later) and prepare to enter the wide world of pain management."

Ways to manage labour pain

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Christmas Tale

Years ago when I was a staff midwife working in a London hospital, I worked the early shift on Christmas day.  My shift started at 7 am and was allocated to care for a lady who had been admitted about an hour before I arrived at the maternity unit.  This was her second baby so her labour was fast and subsequently delivered a beautiful baby boy at 10 am that morning.

"Congratulations, what a wonderful Christmas present" I said as I laid her baby on her tummy for skin to skin contact.  "You can call him ..........."  Before I could finish my sentence, the new mum interjected  "No way am I going to call him Jesus!"  she said cracking up laughing.  
I replied, "I was going to say Chris or Joseph".........


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Breastfeeding Naturally

An excellent series of videos for women who are going to, or who are breastfeeding their baby. They contain a wealth of information such as the benefits for mum and baby, early feeding after the birth, family/whanau support, problems that may arise, returning to work and much more.

These video are also embedded on our website as well

Friday, December 14, 2012

Why do I have morning sickness?

Nausea and vomiting is a common but not well understood condition or pregnancy, is certainly not confined to mornings and in fact, it can be all day sickness.  Symptoms usually appear by 4-6 weeks of pregnancy and one of the signs that a woman suspects that she could be pregnant.
It can also be very debilitating and may not be well understood by family, friends and employers.

It is usually associated with rising levels of hormones that feed the early developing baby until the placenta is fully formed and by 12-14 weeks the symptoms have resolved.  It is extremely difficult to treat because of the potential harm that medications can cause.  

Certain foods, tobacco and smells can trigger the nausea and make it worse.   I came across an interesting study undertaken by two Cornell biologists, who suggest that morning sickness protects the mother and her developing baby. The researchers believe that it may explain why many women have an aversion to meat, certain vegetables, caffeinated beverages and tobacco in the early stages of pregnancy.  It is because her body is trying to protect the developing embryo from the toxins and chemicals that may be present in certain foods and chemicals.  The body is also protecting the mother’s immune system which is naturally suppressed at this time.

Had I known this when I had very bad morning sickness when I had my children, it would have made more sense of my situation, maybe not have made it easier to bear but understanding why I was constantly sick and ‘listening’ to my body.

There are some self-help remedies that you can do to help yourself

  • Instead of three large meals a day, eat 6-8 smaller meals throughout the day.  A snack of dry toast or dry crackers before bedtime and before getting up in the morning, this will help to maintain your blood sugar levels to reduce the risk of nausea.
  • Avoid highly spiced and fried foods, although the smell may put you off these foods anyway.
  • Reduce your caffeine intake and keep tea and coffee to a minimum of 2 cups per day.
  • Vegemite or marmite spread on toast or crackers for its natural Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is a natural antihistamine that may help to reduce the nausea.
  • Ensure that you are drinking plenty of fluids, at least one glass of water an hour during the waking hours.
  • Gentle walking after eating may help.
  • Slippery elm (available at the supermarket) may help to reduce the nausea.  It is quite bland so mixing it with some honey will make it more palatable.   
  • Sipping ginger tea or ginger ale made with real ginger.
Alternative therapies
  •   Acupressure wristbands help some women
  •   Acupuncture

If you are continuously vomiting and you are unable to keep any fluid or solids down, this is a much more severe form of morning sickness called Hyperemesis Gravidarum and needs to be treated immediately.  Please contact your midwife or gp who will be able to advise you.

Morning sickness may be protecting you and your baby

8 gifts never to give to a new mum

Having had the experience of being a first time mum, I also warn folks be wary what you say to them, even the slightest statement as innocuous as it may sound can knock their confidence.  Lots of support, love and food to put in the freezer its great.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

What is an ecbolic? Do I need one?

What is an ecbolic?  Do I need one?

"My midwife has asked if I want a natural delivery of the placenta (whenua), or would I prefer an injection to deliver it?"

What is the third stage of labour?
The third stage of labour is defined as the period from the birth of your baby until the complete birth of the placenta/whenua and membranes (NZCOM, 2006).

An ecbolic is an injection of a synthetic hormone that is given into your thigh with the birth of the baby’s shoulders.  The injection can be either syntocinon or syntometrine, although the drug of preference tends to be syntocinon.  Birthing the placenta and membranes by this method is called ‘active management of the third stage of labour’ and used to produce uterine contractions to help control the bleeding from the placental site.

When is the injection necessary?
If you have your labour induced, your labour is augmented (given an intravenous hormone to make your contractions more frequent, you have an instrumental delivery (forceps or ventouse), Caesarean section, postpartum haemorrhage or you have a medical reason.  The recommendations are that you have an active management of the third stage.   Your consent is required for the injection to be given, although if there is an emergency situation, there may not be time to discuss it fully with you but your midwife will advise you.

Do I have to have the injection?
The New Zealand College of midwives recognises that women can expect a physiological third stage (where the mother births her placenta without the aid of an ecbolic) when there has been a straight forward labour and birth. 

During your pregnancy your midwife will discuss your birth plan and explain the options available to you.