About Krysia Lynch Maternity Care Expert and Doula

I have been supporting women in their maternity care experience for 14 years. I am the Chair of The Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services Ireland. I am a frequent public and media speaker on all things maternity and parenting

Birth interventions and breastfeeding

When we think about birth choices we rarely think about the effects that these can have on breastfeeding outcomes or on long-term breastfeeding success. In general our choices surrounding birth tend to be made in order to get us through the phase of birthing our baby which many health care professionals and hospital units see as separate from the immediate bonding and feeding that happens directly after birth. Certain birth practices and interventions are known to have effects on breastfeeding in the early days. This doesn’t mean that if you experience these interventions, you will not breastfeed, but knowing that there are issues associated with certain practices can prepare you in advance should they arise. Continue reading

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Ten normal facts about breastfeeding

1. Physical: Breastfeeding is the normal way of feeding and nourishing your baby. Newborn babies need warmth nutrition and love and breastfeeding satisfies all three. Continue reading

Beyond birth – Breastfeeding your baby

42 weeks, www.42weeks.ie, AIMS Ireland

As we get closer to the end of our pregnancy the full realisation that we will become a mother starts to dawn! A lot of the early pregnancy can be taken up with planning where we will have our baby and coming to terms with being pregnant, including pregnancy related nausea. For most women the second trimester offers an opportunity to blossom and bloom and to research further how they will give birth and to prepare for this event with antenatal classes and pregnancy exercise classes such as antenatal yoga. At some point in the third trimester most women start to focus more on what will happen after the birth. This can make us susceptible to baby advertising and some serious commercialism! Baby clothes, nappies, furniture, buggies, slings, cots, carriers . . . the list is endless. We all love buying or borrowing things for our new arrival, but one of the most important things we can do at this time is give consideration to breastfeeding. Continue reading

Ultrasound Scans Part 1: How can a scan help you and your baby?

Our 42 weeks campaign is now reaching its gestational midpoint and as with any pregnancy it’s time to consider ultrasound scans. Some women will have been offered or may have requested earlier scans to either date the pregnancy or to investigate the chances of Down syndrome, but for most pregnant women the developmental or anomaly ultrasound scan at between 18 and 22 weeks is seen as the main scan.

For some women in Ireland this will be the only scan they have. For many public patients living outside Dublin  they will not be offered this scan routinely, but may be able to avail of it by paying for it privately. It is unequal and unfair and we hope that in time this will change so that all pregnant people will have routine access should they choose to.

We’re going to take a look at ultrasound scans over three parts that will examine why mothers are offered scans, what the benefit of scans are, the safety of scans and what the implications of scans are for the rest of their pregnancy and labour. In this first part, we’ll talk about how an ultrasound scan can help you and your baby. The second part will cover the types of scans available and finally, we’ll look at questions to consider when it comes to ultrasound scans. Continue reading

Did you know: You can have your first baby at home?

Lots of people (all of whom have never had a home birth or attended one) are very fond of telling the world that women are not “allowed” have their first baby at home. Has someone said this to you? I am sure that many people said it to me before I ever got pregnant, and some still quote it now.

Reasons people give are usually fairly random but often centre on some kind of notion that a woman’s body is akin to an untested, untried machine. The same people are usually eager to concede that once a woman s body has been “tested” in a pregnancy and birth and performed (one presumes) to appropriate standards, its fine to have a homebirth on baby two. Continue reading

Did you know: Home birth is as safe as hospital birth?

I’ll just say that again in case you didn’t read the title properly or you thought it was a misprint! Home birth is as safe as hospital birth. In fact some studies have shown home birth to actually be safer than hospital birth.

Of course there are caveats, and here are some of them. Firstly, you need to be identified as a low risk mother. This means when you are assessed you do not have any on-going health complications, you do not have any unusual gynecological problems and that your baby is also well (and a singleton). Second, you need to receive professional care from a midwife during you pregnancy, labour, birth and afterwards. Thirdly, you need to have access to a maternity unit should your risk status change during your pregnancy or labour. Continue reading

The ten best things about having a home birth

Krysia Lynch, Coordinator, Home Birth Association of Ireland home birth blogger at homebirthireland.com and home birth mum gives us her top ten reasons why home birth rocks!

  1. You get to know your carer and you get continuity of care from the first visit in early pregnancy to the last visit up to six weeks after your baby is born. Most visits from your midwife will last over an hour and maybe as much as two hours. Most midwives include your other children in the antenatal visits and like to get to know you as a family. Continue reading