It’s hard to believe that 42 weeks has come to an end. Many, many thanks to all of our contributors and to the families who shared their stories, photographs, videos, thank you letters and reflections. We couldn’t have done it without you!
The website will remain live so that all of the content available here. We hope that it will continue to help inform women and give them the information they need to plan for their healthy, happy births.
We have put together a short video to sum up the last 42 weeks. Hope you enjoy it!
We are delighted to announce the launch of our 2014 What Matters to YOU survey, an online survey evaluating women’s experiences and choices of birth in Ireland.
As users of the maternity services in Ireland it’s so important that we hear what you have to say, both the good and the bad. We hope to paint a picture of what maternity services in Ireland look like for the families using them and to make sure that your voice is heard. Continue reading →
Luckily for me, I live in Cork so had no problem accessing the home birth scheme. I had always known I would want a home birth, having little faith in hospital based care and fully trusting in the birthing process. I was looking forward to the birth and had had an uncomplicated pregnancy. Continue reading →
In March 2014, the HSE released birth statistics for 2012 on our public maternity units under the Freedom of Information Act, which included information on Caesarean section deliveries, instrumental deliveries, the percentage of episiotomies performed, and the percentage of vaginal birth after Caesarean deliveries. The figures were also broken down into first time mothers and mothers who had had a previous birth (multiparous). Breastfeeding rates on discharge from hospital were also included.
You are probably thinking – How can a person be pain relief?!? But the concept of doulas has been around for centuries.
The desire to have our mothers, sisters or female friends with us in labour is a primal and instinctual example of women’s abilities to act on intuition. For centuries women have given birth with the support and understanding of elder women who have the life experience to guide the labouring woman through her birth. It makes absolute sense that women would chose to labour with their mother or sister in addition to their husband or partner. Women are naturally empathetic, supportive and strong. Many have the experience of having birthed themselves, which can add another dimension to support. Continue reading →
The use of water during labour is used widely across the world. Apart from delivering and labouring in water, many women find using a bath or shower during labour provides significant comfort and support. Women report that when warm water is targeted where they are feeling contractions or discomfort, such as on their bump or across their lower back, using an electric or power shower is particuarly effective, with that extra water pressure providing both comfort from the warm water as well as the massage-like quality of the increased pressure. Most maternity units have showers or deep baths, whether shared or in a private ensuite, that women have access to during labour. Some units will facilitate having your birthing ball in the shower with you. Continue reading →
I had been planning a homebirth for our third child. In order to do so, I needed to get to 37 weeks. This might seem like no problem to most people, but my babies tend to show up right around that mark. Continue reading →
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a device used for pain relief and is frequently used during labour. It emits low-voltage currents from a portable battery-operated pack and consists of a hand-held control with electrode pads which you attach to your skin to manage the pain of contractions. Continue reading →
On 29th November at 38+6, I went for my weekly reflexology appointment. During the session I could feel the baby really moving around. That night as my husband put our daughter to bed and I was preparing dinner, I had a real sense that it was our ‘last supper’. I’d a lovely relaxing night and a bath before bed. At about 4am on 30th November – I was 39 weeks – I woke with pains, they were about 10 minutes apart and very intense, much more so than when my labour started with my daughter. Continue reading →
A little bit of background, this was our 4th pregnancy, 1st pregnancy loss was at 18 weeks and it was a partial molar pregnancy requiring an ERPC (evacuation of retained products of conception) in January 2011, followed by an early miscarriage at 5.5 weeks in October 2011 and then another early miscarriage at 7 weeks in March 2012. Continue reading →