A first time home birth mum has a positive hospital birth following transfer

When we went for our first scan I was told that my due date was 22nd February. We were suprised as we had thought it would be March. I remember we asked the sonographer if the scan dates could be wrong and she said no. As first time parents we just accepted this, since we weren’t completely sure about our own dates. Continue reading

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Ultrasound scans Part 3: Key Questions to Consider

In our third and final part of our ultrasound series, we’ll look at key questions to consider when planning or attending for an ultrasound.

Ultrasounds in pregnancy have become so routine, that we rarely question their use. However here are some key questions you may want to consider: Continue reading

Feeling at home

Yoga teacher and mum-of-two Claire Maguire describes the reasons why she opted for a homebirth, outlines its benefits and looks at its take-up rate both in Ireland and globally

I’ve never met anyone having a homebirth,” exclaimed a surprised mother as we sat talking in a Co Meath playground last winter. “Are you mad?” cried my friend Deirdre
when I broke the news to her about planning my water birth at home in Ashbourne. In truth I wasn’t shocked by the reactions of people, who, after an initial intake of breath, were all extremely encouraging and supportive. According to the local public health nurse,
planned homebirths recorded in this busy commuter town stand at one – me. Continue reading

Irish mum’s second birth in the US with midwives

Well as I’d gone early with my first daughter I assumed I’d be the same on my second birth. So 40 weeks came and went and no sign of baba!

I had decided early on I’d go with midwives as I’d seen that film “the business of being born” and I was nervous of the over-medicalised view of birth in America. Through friends I found a lovely midwife group who were very supportive of natural birth and just letting women do what they need to do during labour. I was really keen for a natural birth this time. Even though I had one the first time I was a little worried that this birth could be different and I wanted to do as much as I could to help me achieve this. So myself and my husband did a 12 week antenatal course (Bradley birthing class) and I read loads of inspiring books on birthing. Ina May Gaskin’s book quickly became a favourite. Continue reading

Thank you to my midwife

My first pregnancy was a challenge – unexpected, at a stressful time. I didn’t realise what short supply independent midwives were in, and missed the chance to get one. Initially was too far out for a Domino home birth, so ended up with Holles Street MLU, then Domino. That was ok (apart from the hospital visits) til my (contested) due date arrived, and they menaced me with the spectre of induction. I called Philomena and she gave me advice on how to negotiate – also offered to come out to the birth if she became free. Continue reading

Picking sides

The idea that exclusive left side sleeping during pregnancy is a good idea has driven some women to set alarm clocks during the night. But yoga teacher and mum-of-two Claire Maguire advises just listening to your body

Most pregnant women receive unsolicited advice all the time and it is often obtained via online forums. This advice can be based on incomplete knowledge and sometimes even on myths. But some of it may be correct and of sound background, and some may just be plain common sense that you should follow. Take, for example, the idea that pregnant women should sleep on their left side so as not to harm their baby during pregnancy. Continue reading

A natural active birth for a second time mother

On my first, I wanted to do it without pain relief, but I didn’t prepared, and when I was induced, I felt like my body had failed me. When I asked for pethidine and then the epidural I continued to feel like I had failed somehow. Although I escaped without episiotomy or section, I didn’t feel like I had any control – it was something that was happening to me, not something I was actively taking part in. So I wanted to do things differently this time around. Continue reading

A first homebirth for a third time mum

Our third pregnancy surprised us.  My youngest was only 10 months and was still breastfeeding.  We had always planned a third child, and were ecstatic.  From the start I was considering making this our first home birth. Our first birth in February 2010 took place in the consultant-led unit of Our Lady of Lourdes.  It was an induction at 42 weeks, and I had found it quite tough.  We felt railroaded into purple pushing, assuming the doctor’s preferred position (on my back) and then ended up with episiotomy and ventouse.  We were quite shocked for days after that birth, as we had spent the pregnancy preparing for birth in the MLU and using GentleBirth techniques.  Our second birth was in December 2011 in the MLU in Cavan.  A very different story – I awoke a little after 1:30am thinking I might be feeling something.  Arrived at the MLU fully dilated at 3:30am and baby was in my arms by 4am. Continue reading

A first birth for a mum in Cork University Maternity Hospital

Given that my little man is now eight months I think it’s about time I finally get his birth story down on paper!  I had a fantastically easy pregnancy and pretty much sailed through the nine months.  I did the Gentlebirth home study programme and listened to the tracks daily, did pregnancy yoga every week and had regular acupuncture.  I also did lots of research into birth in Ireland, interventions, hospital protocols, natural pain relief and so on.  The Gentlebirth Facebook group was my go-to for any questions.  I drank raspberry leaf tea from 34 weeks, used evening primrose oil from 38 weeks and bounced on my birthing ball for hours.  So by the time my due date arrived I was fully prepared and ready to go! Continue reading

First time mum’s natural birth in the Rotunda

It was my wedding anniversary and we’d been spending the past few weeks mad busy doing a lot of painting in our new house. We had 2 weeks to go til my due date so we were both fairly relaxed as we’d heard first babies are usually overdue. So that day we took off and had a lovely big meal with his family and then more pasta later on…I had a big appetite all of a sudden. Just as well really as my waters broke at around 10pm that night. I rang the Rotunda who said just to head in as a precaution to see if waters clear and check me. I was letting out so much waters my tracksuit was soaked so I don’t think there was any doubt about the fact that it was really my waters breaking! Continue reading

Nutrition: The Journey from Bump to Baby and Beyond

For some women, it’s only when they are trying to get pregnant or when they actually become pregnant that they think about their nutritional health, their lifestyle and what they put into their bodies. As we know, a developing baby derives all its nutritional needs from its mother so there must be an abundant supply of all nutritional co-factors.

Adequate nutrition during pre conception, pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding are absolutely vital for mother and baby. The responsibility of feeding and growing another human being is not one that is taken lightly. Continue reading

Part 1: A VBAC mum negotiates one-to-one continuity of care with a DOMINO midwife for her hospital birth

A succession of events in my previous pregnancies and births, led me to realise the importance of continuity of care. I entered into my 6th pregnancy (4th birth) with much hindsight and was extremely determined to give this birth the best I could offer. My belief is birth is a special event. Our bodies and babies have a profound instinctual ability to orchestrate a cycle of events that gives rise to new life in the world. To enhance and protect this wonderful cycle of events, it was essential I create a support team (ie husband, midwife, doctor) and establish a positive natural birthing environment.  I had total trust in my body and baby (much credit to Ina May Gaskin’s books), it was my support network and environment that required planning. Continue reading