Your pregnancy, your midwife, your choice

Midwives

Life and news from one to One Midwives

05 May

Just keep swimming!

I started writing this article about 6 years ago (had a different title then!), when I was an independent midwife, and I never finished it – it seemed a good time to finish it now and share it with you all, but due to the time lapse between beginning it and finishing it, I felt I needed to revisit my initial inspiration to make it fresh in my mind again.

The inspiration had come from a lazy Sunday afternoon, flicking through the television channels and settling on watching the film ‘Shark Tale’

So, I sat down again, cup of tea and pen and paper for notes in hand and began watching….”Finding Nemo”!

As the film began I started to scribble notes, and smile, excited to finish the article and share it with my peers, but as the plot progressed it didn’t seem the same as my first inspirational light bulb moment!

I carried on, and as I got to the last half an hour of the film I realized I was watching the wrong film! I thought about changing the article and pretending it was always based on “Finding Nemo” instead of “Shark Tale’, but telling the story of my mistake felt more honest. I made a mistake; I was trying to finish a few tasks at once and got it wrong. Sometimes we hide from mistakes, and sometimes we can find a way though and be adaptable. I chose the latter today!

As midwives, we often have to deal with challenging situations when caring for women, both as a professional and also as an advocate for the women. Just recently, I tried to deal with lots of challenges and difficulties at the same time, which left me tired, drained, and wondering whether I actually make a difference or not? This is not unique to me, my midwifery colleagues across the country encounter these times frequently and I wanted to share my thoughts with you all.

It made me think about how we keep going when times are tough. Who do we lean on? Who do we confide in? Who do we team up with? How do we get through and come out smiling?

So, back to the film- “Finding Nemo” is an animated film, based on a fish that loses his mother and is looked after by his father. His Father is worried about Nemo taking risks and tried to stifle his desires to spread his wings (or gills) and explore and follow his heart and his dreams. Nemo does take the plunge though, and goes off into the ocean against the advice of his father, and gets caught by a fisherman!

The film branches off :-

The father sets out in search of his son, makes unusual friends along the way in his quest, and searches against all odds and adversity. He receives support from an unlikely source – a group of sharks, takes some risks of his own and has to learn to trust and let go when swallowed by a whale to achieve his goal and move forward. He is kept motivated, by his unlikely friend Dory who tells him “…When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep Swimming!”

On the other side of the ocean, Nemo is trapped in a fish tank in a dentist surgery – he comes together with many other fish, with many different characters and backgrounds. He learns to adapt, and be brave, he finds a mentor and they make a plan to escape, and not conform to the restrictions around them. He tackles adversity and overcomes it, but not alone. He has support, and some fun along the way.

The film ends with father and son reunited and status quo resumes – as a result of hard work, friendship, mentorship, teamwork, sharing knowledge accompanied by sheer determination and blind faith.

This reminds me so much of being a midwife. There are good days, bad days, ups, downs, grief, loss, ecstasy and joy.

Sometimes we all get off track, midwifery can be a whirlwind of emotions, chaos, and joy. We get overwhelmed, we get swept along with others and sometimes we lose our way. We need to be kind to ourselves, and each other, and just keep swimming!

Find the strength to carry on, sometimes you have to look outside of your comfort zone, as the most unlikely people can be the greatest of support, talk to each other, carry each other and stand together and you can get through.

Sharing knowledge amongst midwives is an age-old tool that we have used for eons. The benefits are plethoric – aspiring, student, or new midwives learn from experienced midwives; midwives learn from each other, and from women.

We tell stories, debrief on trauma, recollect humour and console grief - Women supporting women, professionally and personally. We recall families that touched our hearts and changed our practice, and we share our intuitive knowledge to strengthen our own, and others practice. We learn, grow and change, and embed evidence-based practice into our work, whilst respecting the huge social element to a midwives role.

Midwifery sharing of knowledge is akin to a large family meal – something for everyone to enjoy, coming together as a family to just ‘be’ and gain knowledge and quench our thirst for learning and our passion and drive for women centered care.

Just Like Nemo, and his dad, you can do anything you set your mind to – with a little help from friends, support from sometimes the most unexpected of places, and a mentor to keep you going and guide you along the way. Sometimes our faith is blind, and you have to swim against the current, sometimes you have to swim down stream, and sometimes you have to swim full force in the direction of your dreams accompanied by your support network to overcome your problems.

Never look back and regret, never give up and you will be rewarded for all you have done and continue to for the women and babies of this world.

And, remember – when life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming!

Katie Wainwright
One to One Northwest Ltd
08 Dec

A week in the life of a One to One Midwife

Have you ever wondered what its like to be part of a team at One to One Midwives?

Have you thought of applying for a job with One to One but not sure what a typical day is like?

You’re in luck!

One to One Wirral midwife, Michelle Ryan, has shared a week in the life of a One to One midwife.

Monday:

At 8:50AM I do the school run. 
At 9:00AM I take ‘divert’ off my phone ready for my working day. 
Between 9:15 – 1:00PM I saw 5 of my postnatal women. 
At 1:00PM I conducted a new antenatal home booking and then 2 postnatal/NIPES. 
At 3:30PM I did the school run then at 6:00PM started my on call commitment.
I completed my paper work between 8:00 - 10:00PM. I didn’t receive any call outs.

Tuesday:

8:30AM School run then straight to clinic to attend a scan. I had a natter with some colleagues before heading to 5 antenatal home visits. 
3:30PM School run. 
6:00PM diverted my phone to the on call midwife and completed my daily paper work (I prefer to do paperwork at night so I can do school run)

Wednesday:

Protected day off

Thursday:

At 8:50AM I took my sons to school. 
At 9:00AM I took off my phone ‘divert’ but went to the gym between 9:00 – 10:00AM. 
Between 10:30-12:00 I went to 2 routine antenatal visits, then between 12:00 -3:00PM I saw 3 postnatal women. 
Between 3:00 – 5:00PM I did 2 antenatal home visits then I was called as a second to attend a lovely home birth. 
I was home at 6:45PM and diverted to the on-call midwife.

Friday:

Took my boys to school as usual and soon after took the divert off my phone. 
At 9:00AM I got a call from one of my women needing support in labour. At 11:00AM baby was born and after all checks completed I left at 1:00PM. 
I saw 4 other women for antenatal checks then home at 5:00PM. 
6:00PM diverted phone.

Saturday:

Conducted a Hypnobirthing course then went to 2 primary postnatal home visits.

Sunday:

Protected day off

So how does that sound?

No two days are the same at One to One. No two days are the same in midwifery!

The One to One Wirral Team are recruiting for passionate midwives to join them! Could this be for you?

Still not sure? Join us on the 19th December at 17:00hrs for a free webinar on what it is like to work as part of the team – see what we can offer you and see if this way of working fits for you.

One to One Wirral Lead Midwife Naomi Poole and One to One Wirral midwife Michelle Ryan will be conducting the Webinar – Join us and listen to the midwives working in the team. Ask questions you’ve always wanted the answers to.

Details of the Webinar will be published on our Facebook page shortly – save the date! Looking forward to seeing you there.

https://www.facebook.com/OnetoOneMidwives

02 Jun

One to One Midwives supporting Tommys

Charlie was born in September with a wonderful One to One experience. Labour was quick at only 2 hours 40 minutes, getting used to being a mum to a new born again happened pretty quickly too and he is just growing up too fast!

The one thing that is taking far too long however, is me getting my body back into shape! Now I have never been slim (I love chocolate far too much) but pre-baby, I was healthy and enjoyed exercise.

With my first son (now 5 years old) I was straight back to Buggyfit for my 6 week post natal check. This time, the desire to exercise didn't return so easily! It is now 8 months on and while I have lost 'some' of the baby weight, this has been down to a “healthy-ish” diet and certainly not because of any exercise. I do not however feel any pressure to return to my 'normal' body size but I do feel some exercise with baby would improve my motivation, get the blood pumping and perhaps meet some other mums along the way.

So back to Buggyfit I go (once I have dug out my trainers from under the bed). The fresh air, adrenaline and opportunity to mix with other local mums is actually really enjoyable!

It was at my first session back this week that I heard about the 'Baby Race' being run by BuggyFit instructors across the country in aid of the fantastic Tommy's charity (www.Tommys.org/babyrace).

Anyone can participate in the Baby Race and it can be completed at your own pace. The event will be held in the park (I'll be going to the Cheshire Baby Race in Northwich) and it will be a great event to meet other mums, dads and carers, have some fun and support a great cause. Tommy's are hoping to invest the sponsorship raised to open a new research centre dedicated to preventing miscarriage, which affects 1 in 4 parents.

So I've signed up and now have no excuses! Charlie and I will be crossing the finish line (hopefully without the rain) with a full heart, great satisfaction and a renewed enthusiasm for exercise.

One to One Midwives will be at the Cheshire event to cheer us all on and offer their support to Tommy's with a donated raffle prize.

I urge everyone reading this to sign up to the Baby Race and join 'Team One to One'; it is a great opportunity to have some fun, exercise (without the pressure), meet some new friends and have a feel good factor for helping such a great charity that is close to our hearts.

Can we expect to see you there?

Post by Lucy Hughes, Marketing Supervisor and Brand Ambassador

26 Nov

Rebozo Workshop

Last week some of the midwives attended a Rebozo Workshop ran by Selina Wallis a doula and public health researcher. A rebozo is a traditional Mexican shawl that is long enough to wrap around a woman's body (about 4-5 feet). It is a tool that can be used antenatally and in labour, and also afterwards for 'closing the ones'. It is used to assist the mother into various positions and for relaxation. A large scarf, sheet or piece of fabric can be substituted for a rebozo.

The rebozo acts like an extension of the labor partner's arms, allowing the partner to help support the laboring mother's weight so she doesn't have to. It can also help to ensure the mother through Birthing Naturally is in the right position through Rebozo

On the day we learnt and revised ways to recognise the signs of malposition in pregnancy and labour, and techniques to resolve issues and to help prevent intervention. We learnt many tips about how to use the rebozo to resolve many common and uncommon positioning problems (asyncliticsm, lack of engagement, posterior presentation, nuchal arm, cervical lip). We also had a go at belly dancing, which caused a few laughs, but also helped reinforce how important dance and movement are to birth.

The photographs of the day show midwives practising many of the techniques. We all left the day feeling refreshed, invigorated, and keen to introduce the rebozo into our practice, or with our knowledge refreshed.

More information for parents and midwives for fetal positioning through rebozo-sifting can be found here

Post by Michelle Beacock, One to One midwife



27 Jan

Good Cause

I'm good at starting things.

Like really good... just look in my loft! I've started sewing projects, eBay projects, and even various attempts at organizing my half completed projects!

But then I decided to actually finish something! I mean really finish something... like properly from beginning to end. It was flipping hard and the journey was littered with drama, tears of joy and tears of frustration, but somehow and against all odds it seemed, I finished and actually did it... it worked!! These inital efforts were academically related, so I then decided to set myself a physical challenge... and that worked too!! In that instance, finishing was paramount and time not important.

So this time, I have set myself an absolutely crazy challenge! Not only will my personal challenge require mental and physical strength to actually finish, said mental and physical tenacity has to get me there in JUST TWENTY FOUR HOURS!!

Yep, you read right! Three months ago, I didn't even own a bike... four months ago, I declared my outright hatred for cycling. But now, on 4-5 July 2014, I will be cycling from London to Paris in 24 hours!

(Dont worry Rosie, I'll put my holiday request form in straight away I promise)

Let me put that into context for you... that's 280 miles of false flats, no sleep, steep hills, peeing in my bib shorts, crazy French drivers, possibly cold rain and beating sun... all in just 24 hours!

I do hope it's obvious I'm not just doing this for shits and giggles... I'm actually doing it for Scope, a charity that exists solely to make the lives of disabled people and their families better. My niece, Lilliana Mancillas, Miss Teen Texas United America, has worked for many years working with disabled teens and their families and I have seen what a positive impact she and her peers are making in other peoples' lives. I hope to share her vision and dream and raise money in order to provide much needed services, raising awareness and influencing changes which affect disabled people in our society... but without you my efforts are fruitless.

I know how many of these pages you get links to... I've not been living in a cupboard my whole life. And I also know that we've got a dump government and all their cutbacks and the recession and your neighbour's aunt's dog that needed sending to physio... I get it. But I'm not just asking for your money for nothing in return. For just a couple of quid, I invite you to share my journey. My ups, my downs... my falling downs (guaranteed to be plenty). I have set up a blog to document all of my training, my kit, my rides, my ideas, my fails, my successes... I've even gone so far as to record rides to show you just how hard I am working for your dosh. And I invite you to come along if you fancy it... whether that be commenting on my blog and poking fun or giving me a bit of encouragement, or physically... I ride every chance I get, so if you're out and about and fancy a ride, please do give me a shout.

Thank you for making it this far if indeed you have and not skipped to the end. I promise to put your hard earned dosh to good use. And so do Scope.

Lots of Love and Best Wishes,

Antonia Segura-Walker, One to One Midwife

**Note: To support a good cause and sponsor Antonia please click here: http://www.justgiving.com/gayparee2014

08 Oct

Your baby is crying - Now what?

Those first few weeks getting to know your baby can be a very overwhelming time. Your baby may cry a lot and you may find this difficult to deal with, especially if you are feeling very tired and recovering after giving birth. Here are a few tips that I have put together, that I found helped me when I became a mother, and have helped the mums I have cared for since working at One to One Midwives.

Hold your baby skin to skin

Skin to skin contact reduces stress levels for both mother and baby. Skin to skin contact is also great for dads.

Allow your baby sucking time

Allow your baby sucking time. Offer a clean finger for your baby to suck on for a minute or two. Sucking is a way babies sooth themselves.

Give a taste

Hand express milk from the nipple for your baby to taste or dribble milk over the nipple to entice your baby to the breast.

Provide Motion

Pick up your baby, rock, walk, bounce or dance. Babies are used to constant motion whilst in your womb. Proving motion reminds them of ‘home’. Wearing your baby in a sling/carrier is a great way to keep your baby happy and your hands free.

Offer swaddling

Wrap your baby for a little while in a suitable swaddle sheet. Check your baby’s skin temperature by feeling her tummy and make sure she is not too hot or too cool.

Stay Calm

Babies are sensitive to your stress levels. If you are feeling stressed and your baby will not settle with you- try asking dad or a relative to hold and walk with your baby to try settle them so you can take a break and calm.

Reduce the stimulation

Too much stimulation, for too long can be overwhelming for babies. Dim the lights, avoid loud sounds and give your baby a break from visitors by keeping them at bay until your baby has settled into their new environment.

Massage your baby

Light touch massage using a natural ‘nut free; oil such as olive oil after a warm bath can really help relax your baby and is great to bring up stubborn wind.

Burp your baby or bicycle his legs

Maybe there is a burp that needs to come up or gas that needs to go down.

Co-Bathing

Share a warm bath with your baby with dim lighting. Your baby will recognise the feel and sounds of the warm water alongside the sound of your heart beating next to her chest just as though they are back in your womb.

Early feeding cues

Waking up 
Licking lips & sticking tongue out
Sucking sounds
Rooting 
Hand to mouth activity 
Generalized body movements

Feed your baby before the last feeding cue.

Do something different

If none of these solutions work- try distracting your baby by singing, humming or blowing in their face. Go for a walk outside in the garden or try a walk in their pram.

Post by One to One Midwife, Michelle Ryan.

25 Sep

Initial Contact: A Midwife's Story

A woman is at home with her partner and as her period is late, she takes a pregnancy test and realises that her that her life is about to change forever. She is going to be a mummy. She evaluates her options regarding care and decides to contact One to One Midwives as the service they offer sounds amazing. She carefully fills in the referral form which gets sent to a member of staff who will allocate her a midwife.

This is where I come in….

Via email, I get informed that I have a referral requiring contact. I eagerly open the referral. Sometimes there is loads of information to read, a traumatic obstetric history, a new relationship or a first time mummy getting to grips with all the new terminology that comes with pregnancy. Sometimes I only know her name, address and telephone number. It doesn’t matter either way. I am excited to contact this new family so I can start getting to know them.

Nervously, I try the number I have been given. I am wondering, will we get along? Does she have other children and will they like me? Who knows about the pregnancy? Have they told the new grandparents yet or are they waiting until the dating scan? I wait as the phone rings….

…and wait

…and wait

Then the answer machine kicks in. I don’t leave a message as I don’t know who knows about this new baby yet. I’ll try again later. A few hours later, I try again and get the answer machine. Again a few hours later, I try again. I think ‘maybe she thinks I am a PPI company and she is ignoring me’. But this time she answers…

I introduce myself, congratulate her on her wonderful news and explain about the service we offer. That I will be her named midwife. That I am on call for her 24/7 unless I am taking a protected day, in which case if she calls my number, she will reach my buddy who will be happy to talk to her. I tell her that I will provide her total care throughout the antenatal and postnatal period. I also remind her that if she decides that we don’t gel (for whatever reason) then she can contact One to One who will happily reallocate her a different midwife. We chat for a further 20 minutes. I am a bit of chatter box but find that this first contact is so vitally important in establishing the relationship that will grow as the pregnancy grows. We end the call having arranged a booking appointment with her and her partner in her home. I book her in my diary and look forward to sharing this new exciting journey with her and her family.

Post by Catherine Baddeley, One to One Midwife

03 Jul

Midwife of the Year Award

Last year, Our very own One to One Midwife RM Lauren Irving was nominated for The JOHNSON’S® BABY Mums' Midwife of the Year Award, part of the Royal College of Midwives Annual Midwifery Awards, recognises the incredible work carried out by particularly outstanding midwives across the country. It is the only award which allows mums to nominate midwives who they feel provided exceptional support - and guess what? she won!!! Here's what Sarah Critchley, who nominated Lauren for the award, had to say about her.

“Lauren’s expertise allowed me to have a wonderful water birth at home as I had planned and hoped for. She was calm, supportive and professional when helping me and ensured my husband was involved throughout – it felt like we were a little team! The support I received after the birth was incredible too, with Lauren visiting me every day to ensure I could breastfeed Faith properly and it is entirely down to Lauren that I am still breastfeeding 4 months later. Thanks to her skills and emotional support, I coped well with my pregnancy, labour and the transition into motherhood. I realise after speaking to other mums that Lauren went way beyond her duties.”

It's that time of year again and YOU could vote for the midwife who you feel is outstanding! And here's the link http://www.johnsonsbaby.co.uk/midwifeoftheyear

Post provided by Sue Collinson, One to One Midwife

26 Jun

Pets and New Borns

I love it when I knock on a door for the first time and can hear a snuffle, a scuffle or a wuff on the other side. I just know we'll get on (me and the dog, that is . . . I may have to exchange a few word with the human before I come to the same conclusion!)

As any of my pet-owning families will tell you, I always have to greet the dog/cat/rabbit/gecko before I say hello to Mum or Baby, partly because I'm animal crackers, but also because I know that it's important that a dog really needs to feel at ease with any strange and new "goings on" in its environment. I've been asked many times how baby and dog should be introduced and even, sadly, whether the dog should go to make way for the baby :-(

A dog is often the first "child" a young couple will have - ours was - and it's something that does need thinking about quite seriously.

The Dogs Trust has some very good advice at http://www.dogstrust.org.uk/az/factsheetsanddownloads/factsheetnewbaby10.pdf

Tell us about your experience of introducing baby and dog. Do you have any advice to offer?

Now have a laugh at this photo of me with our firstborn and our lovely Border Collie/Springer Spaniel cross, Sheba . . . What year do you think was this taken? (Check out the frames!)

Post by Rebecca Last: One to One Midwife

20 May

Once upon a time....


Once upon a time, in a small market town somewhere in England, there was a large restaurant - one of a famous chain of eating places, which did very well catering for people who liked the predictability of 'table d'hote' when they went out for their Sunday lunch and regularly booked a table there.

For the most part, their customers very much enjoyed their meals and, even when the food didn't quite come up to scratch, they still came back because it was really the only eating place in the area.

One day, in a premises just a few yards down the street, there opened a much smaller restaurant, offering 'a la carte' with local, organic produce, vegetarian and even vegan dishes at prices which differed not one jot from the those at the well known chain.

The manager of the large restaurant called a meeting of his staff and said, " If this new place takes off, we're all going to be out of a job. How dare these new folk set up shop right next door and try and poach all our customers! Make sure you all make a particular effort to be nice to all the people who eat here and let's do all we can to keep it business as usual".

Some of the staff became quite anxious at his words and, when they passed the staff of the new place in the street they refused to speak to them. Soon, from somewhere, rumours began to circulate about rats in the kitchen and chefs who weren't properly trained; however, when environmental health inspectors visited they awarded a five star rating.

So that was all right.

The new place slowly gained customers who appreciated the wide choice on the menu and enjoyed a smaller and more intimate venue. Some of the old place's regular customers gave it a try and liked it whilst others preferred to stay with the tried and trusted menu. Some ate their meal at the new place but adjourned to the old place afterwards because it was licenced and they fancied a drink. Bar takings actually went up.

So that was all right.

After a while, the new place had to take on more staff and a couple of the waiters who used to work at the old place decided that the ambiance of the new one really appealed to them so applied for the posts. Conversly, some who had moved to the area with the new enterprise decided that they would feel happier with the stability of a nationwide chain and applied for jobs there.

So that was all right.

NOW IT'S YOUR TURN. HOW DOES THE STORY END?


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