Your pregnancy, your midwife, your choice

Information

22 Dec

One to One – Early help achievement

Sometimes, families can require support from one or more agencies to ensure that they live their lives to their full potential. Sometimes, this need only comes to light at such times in their lives as the journey to become parents or to expand their family begins.

Without early help and intervention, families can at times become overwhelmed and require a more formal assessment or support, which can often lead to referrals being made to social care.

Early help services, can offer support and guidance to help families get back on track, and stay on track with ongoing support, ensuring that all the family needs are met, without further intervention.

Midwives working with families are in an opportune position to identify and react to early help needs and work with the families they care for to become the best they can be. They can use tools such as the Common Assessment Framework (CAF) to help them work with families to ensure the right services and support is available to them.

One to One Midwives have always been committed to support the effective delivery of Early Help and universal services and have embraced the opportunity of being involved in the common assessment Framework (CAF) in its various formats e.g. Team Around the Family (TAF).

One to One Midwives are proud to announce that Moira Ferguson, a member of the safeguarding team has completed an intense training programme and has recently graduated as a CAF champion. Her role will involve offering support to the midwives from One to One and be available for partner agencies, to assume the role of Lead Professional, when identified as the most relevant agency. This role will also support the midwives when they are involved in an open CAF/TAF, thus ensuring that the families that are under the care of One to One Midwives have the support and guidance, to be the best that they can be.

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: http://www.ameda.com/breastfeeding/the-first-12-months
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: http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/growth-spurts/
Good positioning and attachment
Sleep when baby sleeps
Know about feeding cues and being baby lead
Effective sucking/supply and demand: http://youtu.be/Zln0LTkejIs
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 www.NHS.uk

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: http://www.wirralct.nhs.uk/news-campaigns/news/latest-news/celebrate-breastfeeding-awareness-month-with-us

16 Aug

Eating Dates During Pregnancy

Are you expecting? Congratulations!!

Pregnancy is a time of various cravings and food indulgences. As an expectant mommy, you want to be sure that what you eat is indeed healthy for you and the baby. Once you are pregnant, almost everyone starts advising you on what to eat and what to avoid. One such food item that has a lot of confusion surrounding it is dates. It is important to know the positives and negatives about eating dates in pregnancy that will help you make an informed choice.

A Sneak Peek At The Nutritional Value Of Dates:

Per 100 grams, *% of daily value

Energy 282 Kcal
Proteins 2.5 g
Fiber 8 g
Fat 0.4 g
Folate 19 mu gs
Iron 1.09 mg
Vitamin K 2.7 mu g
Magnesium 43 mg
Potassium 656 mg

Eating Dates During Pregnancy:

There is no clear study to indicate that dates should not be had during pregnancy. In fact, they are loaded with nutrients that can benefit both you and your baby.

Benefits Of Eating Dates:

Dates are rich sources of proteins, fiber and many vitamins, while being very low in fat. They contain a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber and thus are helpful in maintaining your digestive system. Dates have a good amount of natural sugars. They are rich in potassium and low in sodium, and thus help regulate the nervous system.

Here are some of the most important benefits of eating dates:

1. Good Sugars: During pregnancy your body needs a lot of energy. Sugar is the fastest energy provider.

2. Protein: Protein consists of amino acids, which are the building blocks of your body. Even as your body stretches and grows to accommodate the baby, so does the fetus. To support this growth, your body needs an adequate amount of proteins.

3. Fibre: It helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system and helps in dealing with pregnancy related constipation. It reduces the cholesterol levels and keeps you protected from infections. There is always a chance of developing pregnancy related blood pressure and diabetes and this is where fibre helps. It helps in maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy. You will often feel hungry and the fibre in dates will provide a feeling of fullness for a long time.

4. Folate: Folate or folic acid aids in the formation of new cells and prevents a form of anaemia. It helps in the prevention of dangerous birth defects, which may damage the brain and spinal cord of your new-born, like Spina bifida and Anencephaly.

5. Vitamin K: Vitamin K plays a key role in blood clotting and keeping the bones strong. Babies are generally born with low levels of Vitamin K and thus the need for compensation during pregnancy. Deficiency of Vitamin K in infants can be hazardous since it affects the blood clotting and can lead to a life-threatening situation. It also aids in bone development of the baby.

6. Iron: Iron plays an important role in a number of metabolic processes. Along with globin molecules, iron helps in making oxygen reach all the cells of the body. It is particularly important during pregnancy because iron is an integral part of myoglobin, collagen and enzymes. It prevents anaemia in the child and makes immunity stronger.

7. Potassium: Potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in the body. It helps in maintaining the blood pressure. Potassium also helps in maintaining water balance during pregnancy. It helps in maintaining heart health, digestive tract and optimal muscle functioning. During pregnancy, consumption of adequate amount of potassium helps in your nerves and muscles function. A deficiency of potassium causes kidney problems and can also lead to death.

8. Magnesium: Magnesium helps in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across the cell membranes, which help in muscle contraction and normal heart rhythm. It helps in the formation of teeth and bones and also maintains blood sugar levels. Research suggests that inadequate intake of magnesium during pregnancy can lead to elevated blood pressure, liver and kidney abnormalities, poor vision, etc. A study from Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 2011 suggests that dates can help in easy delivery since it causes cervical dilation and also reduces the duration of labor.

It is always essential to remember that anything you consume should be held in moderation. The same applies to dates, and you should only have a handful a day, not more.

Post by Renee, One to One midwife

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 Geneabirth.com)

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: http://mylittleme.com/homemade-postpartum-pads-for-soothing-and-healing/) 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

25 Sep

Perineal massage

Perineal massage is a technique which slowly and gently stretches the skin and tissues around the vagina and perineum. The perineum is the area between your vagina and rectum. Perineal massage helps reduce both the risk of tearing during birth and the need for an episiotomy (or “stitches”).

Perineal massage helps prepare you for the feelings of pressure and stretching that come as your baby’s head is born. Knowing what some of the sensations will be like can help you to relax and give birth instead of tensing up and fighting the sensations such as stinging, tingling or burning that you may feel as your baby’s head is born. Perineal massage can also encourage you to relax when you have a vaginal exam.

It is also helpful to learn relaxation techniques, information about your anatomy and what will happen during labour and birth.

CAUTIONS:

1.Avoid the urinary opening  to prevent urinary tract infections.

2.Do NOT do perineal massage if you have active herpes lesions, as you could spread the herpes infection to other areas.

General Hints:

The first few times It’s helpful to use a mirror to find the vagina and perineum and see what they look like.

If you feel tense, take a warm bath or use warm compresses on your perineum for 5 to 10 minutes.

If you have had an episiotomy with a previous birth, concentrate part of your massage on that area, Scar tissue isn’t as stretchy as the rest of your skin and needs extra attention.

The position in which you give birth can affect the likelihood of perineal tearing and the need for an episiotomy. Upright positions (sitting, squatting1 kneeling) or side-lying positions reduce the strain on the perineum. Lying on your back with feet up in stirrups makes an episiotomy almost inevitable.

After childbirth, tone up the stretched muscles in the vagina by continuing the pelvic floor (Kegel) exercises that you learned in childbirth preparation classes.

Directions:

1.Wash your hands

2 . Find a private, comfortable place and sit or lean back in a comfortable position.

 3 . Put a lubricant such as KY Jelly, cocoa also butter, vitamin E oil, or pure vegetable oil on your thumbs and around the perineum. You can also use your body’s own natural lubrication.

 4 . Place your thumbs about 1-1 1/2″ (3-4 cm) inside your vagina Press downwards and to the sides at the same time. Gently and firmly keep stretching until you feel a slight burning, tingling, or stinging sensation.

 5. Hold the pressure steady at that point with your thumbs for about 2 minutes until the area becomes a little numb and you don’t feel the tingling as much. 

 6. Keep pressing with your thumbs. Slowly and gently massage back and forth over the lower half of your vagina, working the lubricant into the tissues. Keep this up for 3-4 minutes. Remember to avoid the urinary opening.

7. As you massage, pull gently outwards (forwards) on the lower part of the vagina with your thumbs hooked inside. This helps stretch the skin as the baby’s head will stretch it during birth.

8. Do this massage once a day starting around the 34th week of pregnancy. After about a week you should notice an increase in flexibility and stretchiness.

 PARTNER MASSAGE:

General Hints:

You may use either your index fingers or your thumbs. Sometimes only one finger or thumb will fit into the vagina until the skin has become stretched.

Listen to your partner. It is her body. Be sensitive to what she wants you to do. Massage firmly but gently. She will tell you how much pressure to apply

Directions:

1.Wash your hands.

2.Put some lubricant on your fingers and on your partner’s perineum.

3.Place your fingers gently inside her vagina about 1-1½” (34 cm). Press down until she tells you it is beginning to sting and burn.

4.Hold the pressure there for about 2 minutes until she tells you it is getting numb.

5.Gently and slowly sweep your fingers from the center to the sides and back to the center again, pulling forward slightly as you massage. Give extra attention to any episiotomy scar. Remember to avoid the urinary opening.

6.Massage for about 3-4 minutes once a day.

Blog post by Amanda Wardle, One to One midwife
29 Aug

Why choose a home birth?

WHY CHOOSE A HOME BIRTH?

It is shown to be as safe as hospital birth for low risk women and women feel calmer, more relaxed, and in control because they are in their own familiar surroundings, therefore needing less pain relief. They can move around at will, and birth where they feel most comfortable.

ENVIRONMENT?

Women can prepare their own birth place. They can 'nest' and have their birthing space quiet, with low lighting, scented candles and favourite music playing. Food and drinks can be taken as needed and mum can rest and sleep at will.

HOW?

Women can birth in whatever position they wish, wherever they feel most comfortable. In a birthing Pool, bedroom, on a settee? On all fours, squatting or supported by their birth partner. They can utilise Hypnobirthing techniques, engaging in positive visualisation and breathing techniques.

WHO?

At home women can choose who they would like to support them with their birth. Other family and children may be around, One to One midwives will be on hand for guidance and encouragement.

During the pregnancy, women and their birth partners can 'plan' with their One to One midwife where and how they give birth. This will ensure a more positive birth experience, where mum is in complete control, secure in the knowledge that she is in a safe hands.

If you were wondering about home birth, never considered it, or want to know more, speak to your One to One midwife who will be happy to discuss it with you. Home Birth Groups are also available, speak to your midwife for more information or message directly from our website: http://www.onetoonemidwives.org/enquiries

Post by: Kim Sefia, One to One Midwife

17 Aug

Would you consume your placenta?

Would you consume your placenta?

The placenta is the organ which functions to feed your baby with oxygen and nutrients via the umbilical cord until they are born. After birthing the baby the placenta is also passed and routinely disposed of as clinical waste. However, the placenta is believed to have healing and nutritional qualities and therefore some women choose to consume their placenta following birth to reap these benefits. Two common ways of consuming your placenta are by blending it raw into a smoothie or having it made into capsules to be taken following the birth.

Research claims that the benefits include:

Improved energy levels
Reduced bleeding post birth
Increased milk production

For more information and some recipes see the Independent Placenta Encapsulation Network website http://placentanetwork.com/

Have you or would you consume your placenta?


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