Ten things every mum-to-be should know about C-sections

Lucy O’Connor is a mum of three who has given birth to all three of her children by C-section.  She blogs at http://www.learnermama.com/ and has recently set up the Facebook Group “Irish C-section mammies“. She shares with us ten things every mother-to-be should know about C-sections. Continue reading

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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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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 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

Second time mum’s vaginal birth of twins with an epidural

When found out I was pregnant with twins I couldn’t believe it. This was my second pregnancy – no history of twins. I had rung the consultant I went with on my first child’s birth 6 years previously to book in but when we discovered I was pregnant with twins he was not overly supportive of a natural birth. We had recently moved and I decided to look into the regional hospital just up the road. 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

A Thank You Letter to My Anaesthesiologist

“When pregnant I was really looking forward to being able to share my positive birth story with the world through 42 weeks, however, the story of the birth of my son is no where near what I had planned or imagined and unfortunately not positive. There is someone who I would like to thank though (and I never thought this would be a person I would be thanking!) and that is the anaesthesiologist. My induced labour was long, extremely hard, with close together transition type contractions but not progressing. After using all my coping mechanisms I’d spent 9 months learning I opted for the dreaded epidural. Continue reading

42 Weeks Poll – Epidural: Your Story

The birth stories last week described one woman’s experience of choosing an epidural for her first birth and then opting not to have an epidural for her second birth. We’re interested to hear if you opted for an epidural, or not and we’re interested to know whether you plan to opt for one during your labour, or not. Continue reading

Did you know? – Epidural pain relief and breastfeeding: New research

“The only thing as consistent as birth pain has been the search to eradicate it, pharmaceutically”Tina Cassidy, Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born

Pain medications in childbirth have been sought for millennia. Egyptians used opium, the Greeks chewed willow bark and, on a mythical level, Artemis asked Zeus if she could remain an eternal virgin just so that there would be no chance of experiencing the pain of childbirth! Later in history (around the 1850‘s) ether and chloroform became popular medications in childbirth, until it was proven that these anesthetics were transferred to the newborn during labour and delivery. From 1914 to the late 1960‘s, the new fad in pain relief in childbirth was ‘twilight sleep’, or scopolamine & morphine, whereby a woman was rendered completely immobile and/or semi-conscious in labour and childbirth. This method became unfavourable in the 1960’s and 70’s when women began to question their lack of agency in  labour and childbirth. There were also dangerous side-effects to scopolamine (mainly hemorrhaging and transference of medication to the newborn), hence it became an unpopular method of pain relief and its phasing out made way for the most common and effective pain relief in labour and childbirth that is still used today – the epidural. (Cassidy, 2006) Continue reading

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

Part 1: First Time Mum has a positive vaginal birth with epidural in Dublin

I always liked the idea of giving birth without pain medication and when I became pregnant with my first baba I decided that I would like to avoid the epidural if possible, but that if I felt I needed it, I would have it. I wanted to avoid the epidural as I have anxiety issues. I get incredibly anxious if I feel trapped or confined. I was already feeling very anxious about being in labour in hospital – the feeling like I couldn’t walk away and leave if I wanted to. That I wouldn’t have fresh air, or privacy; things that often help me when I start panicking. I was worried an epidural would make these feelings worse. Continue reading