A second time mother sticks to her plan

I was delighted when I found out I was pregnant with Lucy. We had been trying for over a year and the disappointment each month was devastating. This was quite a new experience for us seeing as our first baby was conceived in one of those ‘lets chance it’ moments early in our marriage! I had just started investigations to see if something else was at play when, around 18 days post ovulation, I was DELIGHTED to find myself feeling ill by the smell of raw meat walking past our local butcher! I ran into the chemist and drove home as quick as I could to pee on that stick! And pee on a stick I did….. 6 times…. JUST TO BE SURE THOSE PINK DOUBLE LINES WERE REAL!!!! 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

Communication Tools: Birth Preferences for your Birth Plan

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Your needs in birth are as individual as you are.

Your experience of labour and birth should be exactly that – YOURS. Every birth is unique and 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. 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

The Art of Birth: storytelling of birth photography – 42 weeks model, Audrey’s Birth

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This beautiful video is a mix of still shots and video of 42 weeks model, Audrey’s recent birth of her baby girl in OLOL Drogheda. Video and Birth Photography by Angela Martin, Redboots Photography

The Mysterious Placenta and the Third Stage of Labour

Did you know, the placenta has always been thought of as a mysterious and powerful organ? 

31st century BC

Narmer Palette 31st century BC – the small attendant on the far right carries the placenta of the Pharaoh, thought to be his ‘soul’ or ‘external helper’

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Epidural, Is it right for You?

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Photo from google images: triadbirthdoula

Epidural Anaesthesia is an effective and popular form of pain relief for women during labour and childbirth. The epidural is an injection which is inserted into your spine in the lower back into an area called the ‘epidural space’. Epidurals are performed by Anaesthetists, who are specially trained doctors who provide pain relief for surgical procedures or childbirth. 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

Choice in Pregnancy and Birth in Ireland

Period late? Feeling tired? Sore breasts? Over emotional? These are all signs of pregnancy. Most mothers choose to further confirm such physical symptoms with a pregnancy test. Once you have a positive pregnancy test then a world of choice presents itself! Where will I have my baby? Who will look after me? How will I find out how to give birth? Should I breastfeed? For the first time mother the choices seem overwhelming and endless, and what makes it all the more confusing is that everyone seems to have a different opinion on what you should do! Continue reading

Dispelling Myths: Birth Experience Doesn’t Matter (All that Matters is a Healthy Baby)

943618_10200178082193944_2106467689_nFrom the moment you get a positive pregnancy test, your mind begins racing. These early hours and days are spent trying to organise where you will have your baby and with whom. Continue reading

A first time mum’s fast labour with a domino scheme

Our first baby was due on Friday 8th February. I had kept pretty active during my pregnancy, I walked, swam, done a pregnancy yoga class, and bounced bounced bounced away on the pilates ball! I also listening to Gentlebirth CDs. I had a fear of hospitals, sickness, blood, needles and honestly didn’t know how I was going to get through pregnancy let alone labour. But at the same time I knew that I would love to have a natural, pain relief free labour. I wanted the best start for my baby and I really wanted to experience labour and feel my baby entering the world. I believe that keeping myself active throughout my pregnancy, informing myself of all my choices and keeping as calm as possible really helped me have the birth I wanted. 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