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

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

What is perineal massage and how does it help?

One of the things that our mums-to-be worry and ask us about in our MummyNatal classes is whether there’s anything they could do during pregnancy or labour to avoid tearing. Whilst every woman, baby and birth are unique, and there is no way of telling whether vaginal tearing will or won’t happen, it is a certainly a possibility. There are however factors that can play a part in helping a woman achieve a positive outcome in this sense (i.e. no vaginal tearing!)what is perineum massage and how does it help?

But first of all, let’s take it a step back.

What is vaginal tearing?

A vaginal tear is a spontaneous laceration to the perineum, which is the area between the vagina and the rectum. It can occur towards the final stages of the second phase of labour when the baby is being born. With the head being the biggest part of the baby’s body (and often the first one to come through the birth canal), the vagina has to stretch considerably to allow for the baby’s head to be born. Of course, that’s exactly how a woman’s body has been designed to work, so the tissue can and will stretch, but it is possible that tearing occurs in the process. And this isn’t just a possibility for first-time mothers – the birth of subsequent babies can cause tearing as well. 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

An interview with MummyNatal founder Steph Beaumont on children being present during labour and birth

Last week, we published a blog post about children being present during labour and birth, and we asked some of our fantastic Natal teachers to tell us about their experiences and stories.P1070594

This week we interview our amazing founder Steph Beaumont, who gave birth to her forth child at home with her third child watching TV in the same room!

But let’s hear the whole story from Steph directly, who now has 4 children and is expecting a fifth in the summer. Continue reading

Children present during labour and birth? Here’s what our Natal teachers say

Back in August last year, Jamie Oliver announced on Instagram the birth of his first child, a baby boy. In that announcement Jamie Oliver makes a reference about the fact that his oldest daughters, 14 and 12, were present during the latest stages of an Harrison baby 3“unbelievably composed” labour and birth and were the ones to cut their little brother’s umbilical cord.

Very sweet.

Except, that the whole internet was up in arms. “Should you let your children watch you giving birth”? According to an article that appeared in The Guardian back in August, the question was even asked to Jacque Gerard, the Royal College of Midwives’ director for England, who stated that “if [birth] happens in a prepared, loving, and supportive environment […] it’s really positive and healthy”. And apparently, she continued to say women requesting for their children to be present while they give birth is on the increase in the UK, and “given that we are trying to improve choice, if having children present is part of that choice, we should be supporting women. Birth is a family event, and it affects everyone. With the right support and preparation, why shouldn’t they be involved?” Continue reading

A MummyNatal home birth – Ascia’s Story

photo6Meet Ascia.

Ascia joined MummyNatal  as a trainee teacher in 2014, and teaches classes in Middlesex. When Ascia became pregnant with her third baby in November 2015, she felt fortunate to be able to be able to use the MummyNatal practices for her own pregnancy and birth.

Here is her story, in her own words!

I was able to teach MummyNatal sessions late into my pregnancy, which was fantastic, as I really got a feel of the practices being pregnant myself. I was so excited to be able to use what i had taught during my own labour. Continue reading

Another MummyNatal birth story!

11098348_835492616517869_1017329643_nOur fourth Natal baby arrived two weeks ago (where has the time gone?!) and it was such an experience!

This is my birth story…

Throughout the last few weeks of pregnancy, I had regularly been experiencing practice contractions, which steadily had gotten stronger the further along my pregnancy progressed. Dean and I had joked that when it finally all started, that we wouldn’t know if it was really it, until a baby arrived or not… which turned out not to be that far from the truth! Continue reading

I am not a hero – I was too scared to have an epidural!

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This blog comes from our Natal teacher Sara Bussandri, exploring the feelings, knowledge and choices which made each of her births similar and yet so different…

I have 3 children, and I was blessed with 3 fairly straightforward pregnancies, labours and births. In terms of pain relief I took varying degrees of medication during the births of my children, culminating in the drug-free home birth of my third boy.

I don’t normally go round making a big song and dance about the fact that I didn’t have any pain relief, but when I do mention that I had a home birth, it always comes up, as people often assume that no pain relief is available when birthing at home (which isn’t exactly the case, although it’s true that some forms of pain relief aren’t available). So inevitably, when I say to people that I had no drugs for my third, I always get comments like “oh, you’re so brave” or “I could never do it”, and they sadden me a bit.

And here’s why. Continue reading

Are Dads Disposable?

There has been a lot of commentary recently about dads, and a lot of it quite negative. As a mum of three with one on the way, as well as an antenatal practitioner, I have found this really sad. Coming from people who are certainly influential in the world of birth, I wonder how we have reached this point where it feels acceptable to send out the message that dads are pretty irrelevant. Continue reading