What’s in a word? Quite a lot as it turns out actually. Words have the power to empower and strengthen, or disempower and weaken. But why would anyone want to disempower a woman at the most vulnerable time of her life? It is quite simple really, disempowered people, will usually agree to anything. In short, they are manageable. In a hospital, where resources are stretched and time is of the essence, a manageable patient helps to keep the show on the road. Continue reading
My first son was born through a natural birth in hospital with the Holles Street Community Midwife team. This time around I felt empowered by my successful delivery and decided to try it at home. I was with the community midwives again and I can’t imagine giving birth without them by my side. Continue reading
From 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
When I was 38 weeks I had an appointment in the midwifery-led unit (MLU) where we discussed my birth preferences, only to be reassured that everything I was talking about was considered best practice there. At home, as the birth approached, we reevaluated who should accompany me for the delivery. Charlie found the whole experience very traumatic last time around, and he felt it affected him for days afterwards. So when he developed a bad chest infection, we took it as a sign and asked my mother to step in as birth partner instead, something she was excited to do. Continue reading
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
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
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
Before 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
I have found it very hard to put into words the gratitude and love that I feel for the midwife who took care of us the day my son was born.
She was the midwife I needed – and my husband needed – that day. We had both taken an instant fondness to her on our first antenatal appointment with her and we were delighted that she was the midwife on call when I went into labour. Continue reading
“My letter of thanks is to a midwife in the Rotunda. I was a first time mum who was admitted in labour very early. I had a long latent phase with an OP baby. The wards were really crowded and there was no delivery suite available so I was on an ante-natal ward, which was miserable. I felt I was losing control quite quickly trying to find space for myself and privacy to labour. I felt so exposed. In the afternoon a new midwife came on. She was foreign, I am pretty sure German! For the life of me I cannot remember her name but her face is etched in my memory forever! She was amazing.
She took me out of the ante-natal ward and brought me into the bath. I laboured in the bath for hours in privacy with this midwife checking in on me. Once out of the bath, she brought me into a room which had been closed off rather than back to the ante-natal ward. I stayed there hidden away in the dark to labour in peace until it was time to go to the delivery ward. Once in the delivery, I was nearly there, baby had turned, and I had a quick vaginal birth with no intervention and only the smallest of tears. That was 10 years ago and I am so thankful to her and the kindness she showed me. Her patience and knowledge of normal birth – to give me the space and time to labour as I needed – it was so important and I am sure made a huge impact on the birth that I had. Thank you, thank you! I will never forget you!”
“A few days before our little man was born I ended up in hospital with a rotten infection. I spent the days in isolation. These were drawings I did the night before our little man was born…these were painted as an affirmation or a prayer that our baby would just come out safely. By that time, the night before he was born, I was very worried something was wrong with him because I had been so sick.” Continue reading
When I went to see my GP to confirm my pregnancy at 5 weeks, she went through all my maternity options with me and fair play to her even mentioned I could have a homebirth if I wanted. She wouldn’t recommend it, but it was available if I fancied it. Oh God no, I said, not for me. I was actually already booked into the Domino Scheme in the National Maternity Hospital. Once I got the thumbs up from the pregnancy test, I was on the phone. You have to move quick in this town for community midwife-led care! Continue reading