Friday, 23 March 2012

Pregnancy across 3 continents

I am 28 weeks pregnant with our second baby. I am an expat and will have been out of South Africa (my home country) for 3 years on May 13th. I conceived our first child and spent the first 13 weeks of my pregnancy in South Africa, then moved to the United Kingdom and spent the remainder of my first pregnancy in England. This time around, we conceived baby in Cebu and I have spent the entire pregnancy thus far (save one weeks holiday in Hong Kong) in the Philippines.

I prefer midwife care during pregnancy and so have experience with working with 3 groups of midwives thus far, the South African home birth midwife, the English community midwives and now Cebuano Birth Centre midwives.

My experience with all three groups has been a pleasant one, I don't think its fair to compare them as each individual midwife will have her own way of working. My SA midwife knew me personally pre-pregnancy as I had worked with her as a doula during some home/birthing centre births. She taught me all I know about water birth for which I am eternally grateful as my daughter was born in water. My english midwife was one of the most gentle kind woman I have ever met, she spoke so softly and was just so relaxed it was such a pleasure being under her care during my pregnancy. My current team of midwives have very varied personalities, one is gentle, one is strong. I am hoping to have my "gentle" midwife at my babies birth but am glad to know that if need be the "strong" midwife is there to oversee and guide over any serious complications.

All 3 sets have had a focus on staying active, eating healthy and being positive about pregnancy and birth. My UK midwives joined my husband and I at our home for the birth of our daughter when I was in active labour. They were in my space but not in my face which I appreciated. The PH is different, we will go into the birthing centre when ready and I will be given the space and time to labour alone in my private room for as long as it takes. When I am ready to push, I will go to the delivery room and inform my midwife who will then prep for the birth. Immediate separation of mom/baby and cord clamping is practiced routinely here which I am against, however I have been assured that this will not happen with us and this has been discussed with the birthing team. I am left to now trust that what has been said will be done.

I have approximately 12 weeks left of this pregnancy and am in good health. I am looking forward to labouring and birthing this baby into the world. I am still processing and working through some thoughts in my head, I know I cannot control any situation but I do feel I can prepare for it.

 I read something along these lines recently which has really stuck with me:
I am the only person who can birth this baby into the world and for this I take full responsibility

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Getting baby to rotate to avoid back labour, simple solutions

Incidentally I sleep in the side lying pillow between my knees position, I find it most comfortable. If you don't have a birth ball yet, get one, remember that when sitting on an inflated birth ball your knees should be lower than your hips. Birth balls are not only good for labour and pre-natal exercise but they can also be used post-partum to rock the baby on. We did a lot of bouncing and rocking with our newborn on our birth ball. It takes up less space than a rocking chair, is cheaper and can be moved around with you if need be.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Helpful and positive labour and birth preparation

Looking for some breathing exercises this morning, I came across this gem. I have done the exercises along with the video and my baby is now awake and moving. A bit of oxygen to your body does wonders.

I have already been able to practice some labour breathing as I experience braxton-hicks on a regular basis especially at night time. Deep regular breathing has become second nature which I am glad about. Having had the opportunity to watch a number of labouring mother's move through strong active labour into transition and finally pushing their babies out, the women who concentrate on their breath, who take deep slow breaths remain calmer. It's a helpful coping strategy. Give it a go. Try if possible to get your labour partner to practice these breathing techniques too, as they will be able to redirect your breath if needed.

This is my second pregnancy and I found this birth affirmation video during my first, I watched it often and find it really relaxing and empowering. I share it now with you.

Stay well.