Continuing our Muddies To Be blog posts, this one will look at the second session of our outdoor antenatal classes – giving birth (part one).
The human body is amazing in so many different ways, but I think childbirth might just be the body at its most magnificent. We will talk about how contractions work to change the cervix from a closed firm tube around 4 cm long to being paper-thin, fully dilated and no longer holding back the baby. Then it’s time to push, and the body has some neat tricks to aid this as well – the tail bone at the end of the spine will actually flip backwards to make more room for the baby to come through the pelvis.
As a midwife, I have seen women and birth partners use a range of techniques to aid labour, and it is such an individual thing as to what will work for you. This will be an opportunity to talk through the pros and cons of baths, TENS machines, epidurals, and everything in between. At Muddies to Be, we want to support you in exploring your options and thinking about what is going to be most helpful to you in childbirth. Little does Fran know it, but this may involve some active demonstration from her (and when I say may involve, I mean will definitely involve!).
There will be a chance for me to show off my lovely but old-school Pinard stethoscope when we talk about monitoring the baby and the mother during labour. (There might also be some more modern technology as well!) As with many of the other topics we will talk about what the guidelines are, and why they recommend what they recommend, and what your choices are.
Some key questions of the whole process will also be covered. When do you call a midwife? What will they want to know? At what point do you go into hospital, or have the homebirth midwife come to you? What will happen when you first get to hospital, or when the midwife first gets to your home? How does covid-19 affect this process? You should have all these answers by the end of the session!
Part two of our giving birth sessions will be discussed in the next post – we will look at induction of labour, instrumental delivery and caesarean section. Though I say so myself, there’s also some cracking historical facts in there! In the meantime, any questions or comments, please get in touch via the contact form or our Facebook page!