Epidural in labour

A recent article in the Sunday Telegraph ( suggested that women are being denied an epidural in labour.

As an experienced midwife, I can only see that comments such as these will scare monger women, who after carefully researching all methods of pain, have made an informed decision to choose an epidural for pain relief in labour.

When I support clients for their births, yes I see the NHS is stretched and staff are over challenged by sheer volume of work, but I see staff – midwives, obstetricians and anaesthetists, listening to women and their requests and choices for pain relief, and providing that care within a safe framework. Yes sometimes client’s have had to “wait” for their epidural as there is an emergency on Labour Ward – but I witness good support in the meantime whilst they have to wait etc. So I seek to reassure that it is unlikely that you will be refused or denied an epidural, if requested. All pregnant women need to be mindful that of course sometimes all the best laid birth plans can be over ruled by Mother Nature though!

This is a balanced article written by an Anaesthetist you may find helpful to read!


Dr Bill Franklin “grandfather of allergy”

Dr Bill Franklin recently celebrated his 107th birthday and as an expert in allergies, was asked what practical steps parents could take to protect their children from allergies.

He highlighted that genetics plays a part in around 30% of allergies but that 70% are due to the environment.

He talked about parents smoking and whether the family live near a road and therefore the children breath in pollution.

But he also highlighted the importance of breast feeding as well as vaginal birthing, where clinically possible. There is increasing research into the importance of the newborn baby passing through the vagina/birth canal, and picking up on important bacteria – we call this the seeding of the newborn microbiome.

Both breast feeding and vaginal birth helps to properly prime the newborn baby’s immune system.


Exercise in pregnancy

I am often asked about this!

It really is a good idea to keep moving, even at term of pregnancy! It is very tempting to sit back and “rest” when you feel heavy and uncomfortable, but a gentle walk every day for around 45 minutes will help you, and your general wellbeing – both mentally and physically!

Pregnancy hormones can cause your  joints to relax a little (in preparation for labouring), especially towards the end of pregnancy, so go easy – no crazy workouts!

Swimming is an ideal exercise, as the water supports you well.

It is quite common to get a little increased breathlessness when exercising, due to the weight of pregnancy etc. If you have any concerns do speak with your midwife or GP.


Apgar scores

So I have learnt something new today as a midwife….about the Doctor who invented Apgar scores – a score/tool used by us midwives/ doctors all over the world for assessing/recording a newborn’s condition at birth. “Google Doodle” today celebrates the 109th birthday of Dr Virginia Apgar – the doctor who devised the Apgar score. Its a score that we give newborns at 1minute, 5 minutes and 10 minutes after birth, assessing heartrate, breathing, colour, muscle tone and neurological reflexes. Clever lady! Incredible that her assessment score is still today used as a standardised assessment tool at birth for the wellbeing of the newborn!

Dr. Virginia Apgar’s 109th Birthday


Continuity of care

I have been super busy since new Professional Indemnity Insurance has facilitated a return to the full Independent Midwifery services that I can offer clients again.
Supported several clients for their births in recent weeks, and lots of new bookings for births due over the coming months. Been truly privileged to support returning clients – having now provided care for their first pregnancy, birth and postnatal, and now second! Adds a terrific dimension to continuity of care!

A text from a new Dad client following the support I provided them as a couple for their birth.

Finding my work very rewarding.

text 2018

new mum

Maternity Leave

Several of my antenatal clients have chatted with me during their antenatal appointments this week re maternity leave, and how long to take etc. Read an article yesterday which quite surprised me!
I quote (no idea re source for this data)…..
“1:4 women in the USA take just 2 weeks off after giving birth” and it stated that a former Yahoo CEO took just a fortnights leave after having her twins! My she must have had a very robust support around her to achieve that!
My thoughts though were also towards the newborn babies….feeding and establishing of it generally takes a couple of weeks at least.
It quite simply is not long enough off following the birth – for new mother recovering postbirth and newborn baby/babies.
Maternity Leave needs to be longer than that ideally!


Recommended products

As a midwife, (and mum myself of 3 children) I am often asked what products I would recommend or endorse to smooth the path of parenting!
Of the five things that this article recommends, I would myself wholeheartedly say “hear hear” too to Metanium nappy rash cream. Absolutely fabulous stuff! Only need to use it if your baby has nappy rash…not necessary at every nappy change if all is ok etc.

“Metanium is the nappy rash ointment that leaves all others standing. Consistently voted a Mumsnet Best, this “magic cream” is the subject of eulogies among grateful parents, with words such as “brilliant” and “miracle” being regularly bandied about. In the words of one grateful user: “Do not be without this cream.””


Joys of being a midwife!

I have had a very busy but professionally rewarding 2 weeks, supporting clients.

2 of my clients birthed very close together (in the 5 years I have been working independently, its been the closest!!). Yes “Mother Nature” did make me wonder but it worked out perfectly in the end!
Both had excellent care from the NHS Team’s at their local chosen hospitals. The NHS is often slated but it provides impressive acute care! Yes it does not often give continuity of care, but my personal midwifery care can provide that aspect!

Feeling so blessed – I love my job as a midwife!


Something to be celebrated for Independent Midwives

Just wanted to share this link on my blog!​

The survivial of Indpendent Midiwfery and ultimately choice for women!

Yipee I can continue my work as an Independent Midwife….a job I passionately enjoy!


imukIndependent Midwives UK (IMUK) have announced the resolution of the longstanding ‘Choose your Midwife, Choose your Birth’ campaign to secure workable, affordable professional indemnity insurance (PII) for self-employed (independent) midwives.

Following a requirement of EU legislation, professional indemnity arrangement is mandatory for all healthcare professionals from 17th July 2014.

Historically, midwives who have chosen to work as self-employed practitioners outside of the NHS have been unable to secure affordable PII due to the insurance industry combining midwifery with obstetrics in terms of risk assessment.

IMUK’s scheme, which launched today, meets the requirements of both the EU directive and the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), is tailored to independent midwifery practice and is based on the analysis of midwifery data only, over the past decade.

IMUK Chair Jacqui Tomkins hailed the breakthrough, saying: “This campaign saw thousands of women, families, politicians, birth groups and midwives working together to retain women’s rights to choose the circumstances of their birth.

“We are incredibly relieved to have procured a solution which ensures that future generations of women will have independent midwifery as a choice in maternity care and that midwives can exercise their right to self-employment.

“We’d like to wholeheartedly thank all those who have supported us throughout a very tumultuous time. We are all greatly looking forward to continuing to serve families at an incredibly important time in their lives.”

Belinda Phipps, chief executive of the NCT, added: “We welcome the continuation of independent midwifery. It is a powerful partner for change in woman-centred care and we are glad to see them with a future. Independent midwives are a great example of continuity of carer, providing the individualised support that women need and want.”