A MummyNatal guide to pre-eclampsia

One of the questions that our MummyNatal teachers sometimes get asked is whether our weekly classes are safe for mums-to-be who have been diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. We would say that as long as you haven’t been hospitalised, our MummyNatal classes are suitable for all expectant mums, at any stage of their pregnancy, and no matter what type of birth they’re planning, as long as you’re comfortable attending a class and that if you are experiencing any medical issues, that you have been given the go ahead by your midwife or GP.a MummyNatal guide to pre-eclampsia

We understand that if you’ve been told that you’re either at risk of pre-eclampsia, or you’ve been diagnosed with the condition, you may feel worried about what this means for you and for your baby. So here is some information that you may find useful.

What is pre-eclampsia?

Pre-eclampsia is a condition that can affect a small number of pregnant women, usually during the second half of their pregnancy (from around 20 weeks), or postnatally, i.e. soon after the baby is born. If not diagnosed, treated, and monitored, the condition can lead to serious complications for both mother and baby, so the earliest in the pregnancy it is diagnosed, the better. Continue reading

Childbirth – what are my options to manage labour sensations?

how to manage labour sensations MummyNatalDid you notice how we didn’t refer to ‘pain relief’ in labour? Believe it or not, not all mums will describe their labour as painful, and we talk about that in more detail in our blog post called Is labour painful? So here at MummyNatal, when we talk about what a Mum may experience in labour, we like to use the phrase ‘intense sensations’, as a Mum may or may not feel her labour sensations as ‘pain’. During our weekly MummyNatal classes for expectant mums, we do something that we call ‘intense sensation practice’. This is our way of empowering expectant mums with various tools that they may like to choose from, in order to cope with the sensations they experience in labour. We talk about mindful breathing, movement, doing a body scan, mantras, visualisations, and sounding meditations amongst other things.

Of course, when we talk about the birth environment and birth choices, we may get some questions around the more ‘traditional’ or medical options for pain relief. And we’ll always answer any questions or signpost our mums to different places where they can find out more, to be able to make informed decisions. Seeing that we may not cover these points in such a detailed way in a MummyNatal class, here is some additional information that you may want to read on the topic. Continue reading

Planning a water birth at home: all you need to know about birth pools

Following our recent blog post on the benefits of home births, a lot of expectant parents have been in touch to ask whether you can have a water birth at home. In order to shed some light on the options that are available to families who choose to birth at home and in water, we have collected some information on birth pools that we hope you’ll find useful when making your choices.

I am planning a home birth – can I have a birth pool?

The short answer is YES. But there are a few things that you’ll need to consider before you go ahead and make a decision. Broadly speaking you have two options here – you can either buy or hire your birth pool. Continue reading

My journey to MummyNatal – Jenni Eade

This week we have a fantastic guest post for you, written by one of our MummyNatal teachers, Jenni Eade. Jenni is a mum of 2 and a MummyNatal teacher for Cheshire, Manchester, and Tameside, and in this post, she shared the reasons for training with The Natal Family and becoming a MummyNatal teacher. We hope we enjoy her post as much as we did! Jenni Eade MummyNatal classes Manchester Tameside Cheshire

The life changes and decisions I have made all stemmed from a huge life alteration I experienced not so long ago: pregnancy. I found being pregnant very exciting. Worrying sometimes, tiring a lot, but mostly exciting. During both my pregnancies people seemed to be nicer to me. Working life definitely got easier when I told my bosses, as they had to make changes to my duties to lighten my load. My family looked at me like I was the first woman ever to be pregnant, and I felt like I had achieved something magical. Continue reading

Giving birth? Use your B.R.A.I.N.

If you’ve been to a class from The Natal Family before, and especially a MummyNatalgiving birth? use the acronym B.R.A.I.N. MummyNatal The Natal Family one, you may have heard us mention the acronym B.R.A.I.N. But what does B.R.A.I.N. stand for, and why is it useful?

B.R.A.I.N. stands for:

  • Benefits
  • Risks
  • Alternatives
  • Intuition
  • Nothing

As you know, acronyms are a good way to help us remember and quickly retrieve a sequence of points or steps when we need them the most. In this case, the acronym B.R.A.I.N. can come in handy during labour and birth. Continue reading

What are the risks of a hospital birth?

You may have seen our recent blog post that talked about the benefits of home births. As promised, this post is a follow-up from our previous one, and this time we’ll be discussing the risks of a hospital birth.what are the risks of a hospital birth? MummyNatal

Please remember that the aim of these posts isn’t to encourage or discourage parents from looking at particular options – we are not pushing one choice over the other! As always, our aim is to empower parents and parents-to-be with unbiased information, so they can make the right choices for their circumstances and their families.

As stated in our previous blog post, when it comes to safety considerations, we all tend to think that hospitals are the safest place we could give birth in. While home births continue to have this reputation of not being as safe. So to debunk some myths, we thought we’d flip this argument on its head and have a deep dive into the benefits of a home birth and the risks of a hospital one. Continue reading

What are the benefits of a home birth?

Where will you give birth to your baby? In a hospital, in a birth centre, at home? For many people, this is a straightforward answer, either way. While some women wouldn’t consider giving birth anywhere other than in a hospital, some women wouldn’t give a hospital a second thought.what are the benefits of a home birth? MummyNatal

Why? Isn’t a home birth a lot riskier?

Not inherently, no.

When it comes to safety and the need for life-saving interventions, we are so used to talking about the risks of home births and the benefits of hospital births that the perception that home births are not as safe has become ingrained in people’s minds. Continue reading

So why write a birth plan?

“What’s the point in writing a birth plan? Everyone I know says that they aren’t worth the paper that they are written on and will go out the window.”

Sadly, this type of question and statement comes up in every MummyNatal class and Couples Birth Preparation workshop I have run, and that’s quite a number of times in almost two years of teaching!

In MummyNatal week 5, when we are discussing the birth environment, and in week 6, when we look at birth choices, this is a key topic. However, at The Natal Family (which created the MummyNatal and BabyNatal courses I teach), we like to use the term birth preferences’, rather than the term birth plan. Continue reading

Is labour painful?

We’ve all seen our fair share of movies where mum is on a hospital bed, in stirrups, sweating, screaming and crying, as her baby comes into the world, haven’t we?

No wonder we grow up expecting that birth is going to be just like that.labour painful

No wonder we expect it to be excruciatingly painful.

No wonder we think we’ll be the woman screaming in pain before her baby is delivered into her arms.

Expectations are set for us, but what’s the reality?

The reality is that labour and birth (wait for it) aren’t always painful. Not for everyone. While labour is most definitely perceived as painful to some, believe it or not, it isn’t by everyone. Continue reading

Your placenta. Your choices.

Did you know that the placenta is the only organ in our body that is made to be ‘disposable’? Yes, of course, there are organs that we can live without, but the placenta is the only one that our body ‘disposes of’ when it’s had its use. Created with fertilisation, just as the baby is, it has a lot of very important jobs during pregnancy.

Please note, this image is used for illustration purposes only. We are not suggesting that this is how placenta pills look like.

Please note, this image is for illustration purposes only. We are not suggesting that this is how placenta pills look like.

Did you happen to see any of our #FridayFact ‘Did you know…?’ quotes over on our Facebook MummyNatal page? We have been sharing a few fascinating facts about the placenta – what it does, and why it’s so important for the baby.

When the baby is born, so is the placenta. It’s no longer needed inside mum’s body.

But does this mean that it can no longer help? Should it just be discarded as the ‘disposable’ organ that it is? Continue reading