Tag: labour

The Truth About Labour – The Placenta

Often, there is so much information to take in with regards to labour, that many people don’t know the facts from the falsehoods.  Here is the truth about: The Placenta.

The Placenta

Delivery of the placenta is very easy, and you are largely uninvolved with this part of the delivery. You will most likely be focused on your baby, without realizing what is going on around you.

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The Breastfeeding Top-Up Trap

It is common for newly breastfeeding moms to fall into what we call ‘the top-up trap’. Haven’t heard of this before?

Here’s how it works:

After you have delivered your baby, it takes a few days for your milk to ‘come in’.  In the beginning, all you will have is small amounts of colostrum being secreted.  Moms worry when they don’t see actual milk, and think that perhaps they are not making enough milk for their baby. (more…)

The Truth About Labour – Your Birth Plan

Often, there is so much information to take in with regards to labour, that many people don’t know the facts from the falsehoods.  Here is the truth about: Your Birth Plan.

Your Birth Plan

Your birth plan can change.  It doesn’t happen often, but it is always possible that your birth plan may need to change and your original ideas may not go according to plan. You, therefore, need to be prepared for this. Complications can, and do, happen. In order to be better prepared for this, it is important to go in with an open-mind. By all means, have a birth plan in place and know what you want, but remember that anything can happen.

It is also important that you have a trusting relationship with your Obstetrician or Midwife and believe that they want the best for you, and will help you make decisions in the interest of you and your unborn baby. Remember that although you may want to deliver in a specific way with specific conditions, at the end of the day, the most important thing is that both you, and your baby, are safe, healthy and happy.

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The Truth About Labour – Nausea and Vomiting

Often, there is so much information to take in with regards to labour, that many people don’t know the facts from the falsehoods.  Here is the truth about: Nausea and Vomiting.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting is common, particularly in advanced labour as women enter the ‘transitional phase’ where the cervix is dilated 7cm or more. The nausea and vomiting can be caused by the pain of labour, pain medication given during labour, such as Pethidine, and even anaesthetic medication (like the epidural) which causes nausea and vomiting due to a drop in Blood Pressure after administration.

Digestion stops in labour, so if there is any undigested food in your stomach, this is a likely cause of vomiting. It is recommended that you eat light foods in labour rather than having a heavy meal, and be sure to sip water and energy drinks. You may find that sucking on ice chips helps with the nausea, too. Many hospitals administer anti-emetic medication to help stop the nausea and vomiting.

Acupressure can help with the feelings of nausea – apply pressure in the middle of the inner arm, about three finger widths from the palm whenever nauseous, and hold the pressure there until the nausea goes away.

An acupressure point to help ease nausea
An acupressure point to help ease nausea

The Truth Behind Labour – Back Pain

Often, there is so much information to take in with regards to labour, that many people don’t know the facts from the falsehoods.  Here is the truth about: Back Labour.

Back Labour

Many women experience intense lower back pain when in labour.  Often it can be a constant ache, or it can come and go.  ‘Back Labour’ is usually due to your baby’s head pushing against the sacrum and lower back.  It is also thought to occasionally be caused by a baby in the ‘occipito-posterior position’, in other words, when baby is facing the stomach as opposed to the back.

A comparison of the most common head positions a baby may present with.
A comparison of the most common head positions a baby may present with.

Most women don’t describe back labour as being extremely painful; it is more often described as an intense ache.  However, if it is constant pain, it is more difficult to ignore.  Women can try prevent having back labour during their pregnancy by regularly performing pelvic tilt exercises, sitting on a birthing ball often, and keeping her knees lower than her hips when sitting during the day – these exercises are to try and prevent the baby from taking on an occipito-posterior position.

There are a few ways that are thought to help ease the pain of back labour.  Kneeling on all fours is found to be of big help, because gravity moves the baby’s head off the lower back and sacrum, therefore decreasing the discomfort.  Bouncing on a birthing ball and performing pelvic tilt exercises also helps minimize the pressure in your back.  Massage of the lower back helps many women, so make sure you have a loved one or doula present to help with this – counter-pressure on the lower back seems to help relieve the pain in a big way.  You could try massage with a tennis ball against the lower back during or between contractions.  Warmth also helps the pain, so try get into a warm bath or shower, or use a hot water bottle on your lower back.