Healthy Births for Healthy Mothers and Babies

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Becoming a parent is full of new, exciting and sometimes difficult experiences and decisions. You may already have an idea of the kind of pregnancy and birth experience you would like, or you may not even know where to start there’s so much to take in! For every mother, the most important outcome is a safe and healthy mother and baby, but as more women are discovering, a healthy birth can be a wonderful and empowering event at the same time. Continue reading

10 Tips for Preparing for a Positive and Healthy Birth

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Your experience of labour and birth should be just that — yours. Every birth is unique as each woman will approach childbirth in her own way. It is important that you have the information you need to decide what is right for you and your baby, and that your experience of labour and birth reflects these wants and wishes. Knowing all your care options and your rights, asking questions and, ultimately, finding a supportive care team, you can combine the ingredients for a healthy and a positive birth experience. Continue reading

The Importance of Birth Stories

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However, giving birth is not just about having babies. It is about women’s lives, women’s wisdom, women’s bodies, and women’s empowerment ~ Suzanne Arms

Something happened to me shortly after the birth of my first child. I was in hospital, pride surging through my veins, a squidgy baby only hours old nestled in my chest, and I found myself called upon to relay the events of my labour and birth to every visitor, well wisher, midwife, and room-mate. Continue reading

Thank You Letters

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midwife supporting woman in labour. Copyright Claire Wilson www.newborn.ie AIMS Ireland 42 weeks campaign www.42weeks.ieBefore I had my first child, I remember asking my 90 year old grandmother if she remembered giving birth. Her reply was: “I remember it clearly as yesterday”. She explained how there was no epidural or any medical option for pain relief as she had her children in 1944 and 1945. She said it was a life changing experience and she reassured me that I would be able to handle whatever birth ended up being for me. She also told me about the supportive midwife who attended her first birth – almost 70 years ago. Continue reading

Farewell to 42 weeks

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!

Farewell to 42 weeks - 42weeks.ie AIMS Irealnd

 

 

 

 

Have Your Say in our What Matters To YOU Survey

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

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

First time mum has planned C-section due to placenta previa

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

Looking at the Evidence for Birthing Your Baby: Self-directed vs Coached pushing?

As you approach the end of your pregnancy, it is normal to think about and even worry about giving birth. It is normal to have some apprehension in these last few days, even if you have given birth before or are looking forward to your birth day!

Continue reading

Information vs Advice: A Guide to Self Advocacy

42weeks
From the moment you discover you are pregnant you are surrounding by a litany of ‘experts’ all encouraging you in different directions.

Where will you give birth? Who will attend you? Are you going public or private? Seeing an Obstetrician? Or midwife? Or staying at home? Is it safe? What about pain relief? What will you do with older children?

It can be confusing, overwhelming, and scary!

Continue reading

Birth Statistics for Ireland’s 19 public maternity units 2012

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.

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The Power of Words: Birth Language and Self Advocacy

When it comes to making decisions about how and where you want to birth your baby, the information can often be overwhelming. Words like ‘private’, ‘public’ and ‘semi-private’ take on an entirely new meaning. In pre-pregnancy days, these terms were possibly not on your radar, at all. And then as soon as you get the positive result, pregnancy can appear as one long decision making process. Gathering all of the information that you can and trying to ensure that it is evidence-based and unbiased is an enormous task, in and of itself. One can forget that you are your own individual – with your own thoughts, feelings, history, personality and all the things that make you who you are.

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Please join us and legendary activist, Beverley Beech, to celebrate an incredible 42 weeks!

Legendary Beverley Beech to close AIMS Ireland’s 42 Weeks Campaign

 “The way a woman gives birth can affect the whole of the rest of her life. How can that not matter? Unless the woman herself does not matter”” ~ Beverley Beech

Please JOIN US on Saturday 29th March to celebrate an incredible 42 weeks!

Where?: Cassidy’s Hotel in Dublin, 6-8 Cavendish Row, Upper O’Connell Street, Dublin 1

When?: 13:00, Saturday, 29 March 2014.

Doors open at 12:30 and admission is €5

Who?: Maternity rights activist, Beverley Beech will be our keynote speaker at the closing event. She will be presenting ‘Informed Choice – an Irish illusion?’

Beverley Laurence Beech is a freelance writer, researcher, campaigner and mother of two who has campaigned to improve maternity care since the birth of her second child in 1976. For six years she was a lay adviser to the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at Oxford and was for seven years a lay member of the Professional Conduct Committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and a member of the Midwifery Committee of the NMC. She was also a lay member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Maternity Forum, and a founder member of CERES (Consumers for Ethics in Research). She lectures, both nationally and internationally, on consumer issues in maternity care and the medicalisation of birth. She is the honorary chairman of the Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services (UK).

There will also be presentations from our special guests including:

AIMSI member Nuala Hoey, shares her personal experiences of self advocacy: “Birthing Decisions – A Positive Choice”

Co-chair of AIMS Ireland, Krysia Lynch will speak about “42 weeks in the Irish maternity system; the rights, the wrongs, and the going forwards”

Angela Martin, our 42 weeks photographer will make a presentation on birth photography.

We’ll also have a 42 weeks slideshow overview of the campaign and much more!

What?: 42 weeks is a public information campaign for women giving birth in Ireland. 42 weeks began on Sunday 9 June 2013 and ran for 42 weeks, closing this coming Mother’s Day 2014, Sunday 30 March, focusing on healthy positive birth for healthy mothers and babies through positive Irish birth stories, a gallery of beautiful birth photography, and evidence-based articles to help women make the best choices for themselves and their babies.

Why 42 weeks?: Most pregnancies go to full term, which means that a woman will go into spontaneous labour some time between the 37 and 42 week mark. Our campaign is called 42 weeks to reflect that the vast majority of babies will arrive when they are ready – not on an Estimated Due Date (EDD) but some time during this 5 week window – up to and including 42 weeks gestation.

Hope to see you there!

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