No Epidural? Pain management alternatives and tips – Part 1

In a previous article, 42 weeks explored the epidural and other medical pain relief interventions for labour. You can read it here: Epidural, Is it right for You?

This week, 42 weeks looks at ways to manage labour without the use of medical pain relief.

A father applies pressure to his partner in labour. Taken from the 42 Weeks Gallery.

A father applies pressure to his partner in labour. Taken from the 42 Weeks Gallery.

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Did You Know…. Holiday Periods are linked to an increase in elective induction of labour?

Does Your Estimated Due Date Fall Over the Holiday Season?
If so, you may have a chat about induction sooner than you think!

Did You Know….holiday periods are linked to an increase of elective induction of labour?

Choosing a Holiday Induction – Is it Right for You & Your Baby? AIMS Ireland

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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

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

The Birth of Three Sons – or – How I Became the First Direct Entry Male Midwife in Ireland

Viking Boys (1)Many people ask me how a hardened construction foreman, used to barking out orders to the team over the squeal of sheet metal being cut or the pile-driving of skyscraper support columns, could end up in a very different setting, helping women deliver babies. My 25 year old self definitely would not have believed it. Compassion and empathy are not generally a job requirement for a project manager either, another role I have carried out over the years. Continue reading

The Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT)

Photograph copyright Angela Martin Redboots Photography

Photograph: Angela Martin, Redboots Photography

The Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) is a common test performed in pregnancy. The GTT may be suggested to you if your health care provider thinks you fall into risk groups for developing gestational diabetes or if you are showing symptoms of gestational diabetes in your routine clinical checks. Continue reading

Healthy Births for Healthy Babies: Delayed Cord Clamping

During pregnancy, labour, and birth there are many choices to make which can affect the health of ourselves and our babies. You might feel that all the ‘big decisions’ to make are over once your baby is born. But, research shows that there are many important choices to consider in the 3rd stage of labour, which have an impact on your baby’s health.

In a recent article by 42 weeks, we talked about the Mysterious Placenta and the third stage of Labour. Today, 42 weeks looks at Delayed Cord Clamping. Continue reading

“May I break your waters?” Information on Artificial Rupture of Membranes

One of the most common forms of routine interference in labour is an artificial rupture of membranes (ARM) – sometimes referred to as ‘breaking’ or ‘releasing’ your waters.

Protecting your baby – the important job of amniotic fluid

Amniotic fluid is a clear, slightly straw coloured fluid which surrounds the baby in pregnancy. 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