Your pregnancy, your midwife, your choice


14 Jun

One to One Midwives: June is breastfeeding awareness month

June is breastfeeding awareness month and we are celebrating the great benefits of breast milk for you and your baby.

As well as being convenient and perfectly designed for your baby, breast milk also protects your baby from infections and diseases. Breastfeeding can build a strong emotional bond between you and your baby and also provides health benefits for you too.

Here at One to One we have dedicated midwife and mothers assistants (MaMAs) on hand to offer advice on breastfeeding before your baby arrives and for six weeks after as part of our unique post-natal care, as well as your dedicated midwife who is with you throughout your pregnancy.

Two of our MaMAs, Julie and Sarah, have given us their top tips for breastfeeding:

Research and speak to a MaMa before you have your baby – ask your midwife
Understand how small your baby’s tummy is:
Get off to a good start, eat well and keep hydrated
Take a vitamin supplement that contains vitamin D
Understand when growth spurts stages are and why your baby is doing them:
Good positioning and attachment
Sleep when baby sleeps
Know about feeding cues and being baby lead
Effective sucking/supply and demand:
Ask for support: One to One Mama support/breastfeeding groups.

Breastfeeding reduces the risk of:

• Infections, with fewer visits to hospital as a result 
• Diarrhoea and vomiting, with fewer visits to hospital as a result 
• Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) 
• Childhood leukaemia 
• Type 2 diabetes 
• Obesity 
• Cardiovascular disease in adulthood

For mums breastfeeding and making breast milk also has health benefits. Breastfeeding lowers your risk of:

• Breast cancer 
• Ovarian cancer 
• Osteoporosis (weak bones) 
• Cardiovascular disease 
• Obesity

One to One breastfeeding facts and figures:

Initiation rate for all women: One to One: 79% England: 73.9% 
Initiation rate for homebirth: One to One: 91% 
Still breastfeeding at 14 days: One to One (All Women): 69% England: NA 
Still breastfeeding at 14 days home birth: One to One: 81% 
Still breastfeeding on discharge (6weeks): One to One: 57% England: 47.2%
Still breastfeeding for home birth: One to One: 67%

* Figures taken from One to One’s Quality Report 2014/2015
** Breastfeeding information taken from

The Liverpool One to One Team will be joining the Breastfeeding Celebration Parade on Monday, June 20, to celebrate Breastfeeding Feeding Awareness Week. The Parade will assemble at St Georges Hall at 11:30AM and will officially start at 12:00PM. It will end at Chavasse Park close to 12:30pm. There will then be a picnic in Chavasse Park (weather permitting) and if it rains we would love to see you at John Lewis Café for cake and coffee! Midwife Lorna and Mama Michelle will be there.

To find details of Wirral breastfeeding events please visit:

23 Apr

Care of the umbilical cord

Following birth, the umbilical cord is usually clamped and cut leaving a 2-4cm stump. Some parents may choose to use umbilical cord ties to secure the cord, or choose to leave the cord attached to the placenta until it naturally separates (known as a ‘lotus birth’ and pictured below).

After birth the umbilical cord will dry, turn from a white/yellow colour to a green/black and eventually separate over the course of 5-14 days. Here are a few tips for taking care of your baby’s cord whilst this process happens:

- Keep the cord as dry as possible. It is safe to bath your baby in plain water, but ensure the cord is left to dry by exposing it to the air for a short period after drying it gently with a towel.

- Don’t use any products on the cord; for the cord to separate some bacteria must be present, and using soaps, particularly antibacterial products, can affect this process.

- Fold down the top of your baby’s nappy or use nappies that have a cut out section to avoid friction and allow air flow to the area.

- There may be a slight smell as the cord begins to separate, and the base can take on a wet or sticky appearance. If you are concerned about this, there is a large amount of discharge, the base of the cord or skin on your baby’s abdomen appears red or inflamed, or if your baby seems unwell in any way, contact your midwife as soon as possible for further advice.

(Image from

Care of your perineum following birth

Your perineum (stretch of muscle and skin between your vagina and anus) can be tender following birth, particularly if tearing has occurred and/or stitches have been required.

The area has excellent blood flow and in almost all cases will heal very well. Below are a few tips to ease discomfort and promote healing during the days and weeks following birth.

- Ensure you have a balanced, varied diet and keep well hydrated. This will have the added bonus of assisting your milk supply and improving your energy levels.

- Ensure you exercise your pelvic floor as much as possible to improve muscle tone in the area.

- Ensure the area is kept clean as much as possible; this can be achieved by pouring warm water over the area each time you use the toilet in addition to your regular baths/showers.

- Change sanitary towels regularly to promote hygiene. Disposable sanitary towels can irritate the skin around some tears; you may wish to consider using non-disposable, washable towels made of more natural fibres such as cotton or linen if you experience discomfort.

- Some natural remedies have been traditionally used to ease discomfort, swelling and assist healing. This includes using 2-4 drops of lavender essential oil in a jug of water before pouring over the area or applying manuka honey to a pad before placing it in your underwear.

- Some home-made remedies include frozen pads (see here for instructions: which can be made ahead of time, and may be useful.

- Feeding your baby in reclining or side-lying positions can help ease the pressure in the area.

- Being aware of any signs and symptoms of concern, including offensive smells or worsening pain levels, and allowing your midwife to inspect the area if these occur, can help identify any problems with healing or signs of infection.

Post by Kelly, One to One Midwife

15 Apr

Top five tips for preconception health

As Easter approaches we may be thinking about what that means to us or even telling the Easter story to our children.

Easter is celebrated in many ways such as with the Easter bunny, Easter eggs and fluffy chicks. This is to represent new life and new beginnings.

This may be a time when you’re considering starting that new life by trying for a baby.

Did you know that care before your pregnant is as important as when you’re pregnant?

A healthy mum + healthy dad = healthy baby

Ideally preconception care should be started at least three months prior to conceiving. In fact all women should be thinking about their health even if they are not considering starting a family. One reason is that about half of the pregnancies are unplanned.

Five things to boost your preconception health

• Take 400 micrograms of folic acid every day. This will lower your risk of some birth defects such as spina bifida. 
• Aim for an optimal BMI. A person’s BMI can affect their fertility status along with their health. 
• Stop smoking and drinking alcohol. Smoking can affect the women’s sexual and reproductive health as well as their long term health and that of their children. Women who smoke are twice more likely to be infertile or take longer to conceive than those who do not. In men, smoking affects the sperm morphology can cause low sperm count
• If you have a medical condition, be sure it is under control. Some conditions that can affect pregnancy or be affected by it include asthma, diabetes, oral health, obesity, or epilepsy.
• Seek advice if you’re taking any over-the-counter or prescribed medicines. These include dietary or herbal supplements. Be sure your vaccinations are up to date.

Preconception care can improve your chances of getting pregnant, having a healthy pregnancy, and having a healthy baby.

Post by Cheryl Tomlinson, One to One Midwife

08 Oct

How to make bath times an enjoyable experience

How to make bath times an enjoyable experience

Bath time is one of the most enjoyable experiences to have with your baby, and if you plan, your baby will love their bath times. I would recommend that you ensure the room you plan to bath your baby in is warm and that you have everything you need ready in advance, including – your bath filled with warm water, a warm towel, toiletries, clean nappy, and clothes.

To ensure the water used is at the correct temperature (36-38 oC), put cold water in the bath first, and then hot. This reduces the chance of scalds. Test the water with your elbow (as hands can bear very high temperatures) before you put your baby in. It should feel comfortably warm. Your baby will enjoy bath time more if she is not hungry or overtired.

You can either bath your baby in their own baby bath tub or co-bath with your baby in your family bath. Either way try these simple steps to make it a pleasant experience.

Once you are ready;

• Undress your baby on a safe surface.
• Wrap your baby in a warm towel, keeping her head exposed.
• Cradle your baby firmly under your arm- supporting her head.
• Gently wash your baby’s head over the bath by using your free hand to cup the water and apply the water using your hand. Using a pea size amount of mild baby shampoo, gently massage it through and rinse. Be careful not to get the soap/shampoo in your baby's eyes - stinging eyes can put babies off bath time. • Place your baby back on the surface and gently pat dry her hair.
• Lower your baby feet first into the water, supporting her head and neck at all times.
If you choose to co-bath- rest your baby against your chest keeping their head exposed and out of the water and their body submerged in the warm water- just be sure the water is at the safe temperature for them. 
• With your free hand, gently splash water over your baby's body.
• Keep talking to your baby for reassurance and to let her know she is safe.
• When you have finished, take your baby out, wrap her in a warm towel and then apply a nappy and dress her. 
Please Note- It is not safe to leave a baby or toddler alone in water, not even for a second. 
Newborns do not require daily baths because they do not get dirty, and their skin is very delicate. Bathing once a week is more than enough for the first few months to protect your baby’s skin from becoming dry. As your baby gets older however, bath time can become part of your evening routine. Evidence-based guidelines recommend bathing a baby with warm water only for the first two-four weeks of life and the use of creams and lotions for dry skin should be avoided (Walker et al, 2005) 
Top and tailing is an alternative to bathing for your very young baby. This is a quick way to cleanse your baby and you can do this once a day.
• Undress your baby but leave the nappy on.
• Wipe your baby's face, neck and ears with some damp cotton wool you have wet in a bowl of warm water, and dry with cotton wool or soft warm towel.
• Cleanse your baby’s eyes using a dampened cotton wool ball dipped in cooled down boiled water-wipe from the inner to the outer eye, and discard the cotton wool-repeat of the other side with a fresh piece of cotton wool.
• Wipe your baby's hands and under her arms in the same way.
• With a newborn, wash any discharge from the cord stump with a dampened cotton wool ball dipped in cooled down boiled water.
• Remove her nappy.
• Wash her bottom and genitals well (wipe girls from front to back to avoid spreading germs from the bottom to the vagina) and dry.
• Put on a clean nappy, and replace your baby's clothes.

Reference Walker, L., Downe, S., Gomez, L. 2005. Skin care in the well term newborn; two systematic reviews. Birth. 32 (3); 224-228.

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