An infection of concern to midwives, obstetricians and paediatricians is called Group B Streptococcus or’ Group B Strep’. Group B Strep is a bacterium found in your vagina and gut which is present in up to a third of the population and it is transient, meaning it may not always be present throughout your pregnancy. We all have colonies of different bacteria in our digestive tracts, throats, skin, etcetera, and most of the time they do not make us ill.
“Pure water is the world’s first and foremost medicine” – Slovakian Proverb
Water birth is not a new phenomenon or trendy fad. There are tales of South Pacific Islanders giving birth in rock pools and Egyptian Pharaohs being born in lakes.
1. Day & Night
We work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have periods of on call where we are not technically at work but are on stand-by should we be needed. This means we could be expected to cover in any of the hospital settings; delivery suite, antenatal and postnatal wards, antenatal clinics and also attend homebirths. We may have to change our working days at very short notice.
The first stage of labour begins with the first contraction and ends when your cervix is fully dilated. The stage is split into two phases; the latent phase and the active phase. The latent phase can stop and start, even over the course of days. The active phase is where we see the cervix opening consistently, contractions becoming regular, more intense and lasting for around 60 seconds.
In February the Department of Health announced the new Maternity Budget. There were many aspects of the proposed changes to the way in which maternity services are provided, however the press quickly homed in on the ‘Birth Budget’. This budget would allow women to choose their provider of maternity care by giving them control of their own personal ‘birth budget. This, it was felt, would encourage those providers who lack personalised, women centred care to improve their level of service provision, for women and their families thus lifting the overall level of service offered by the NHS.
This is not to be confused with your ‘show’ which is the mucus plug of your cervix. When your ‘show’ comes away it is usually a dark red or brown and mixed with mucous. When you bleed from your vagina it is fresh, red blood which varies in the amount. It is a warning sign and you should inform your labour ward or midwife straight away. Again there are many reasons why this would occur and it may happen with or without pain. The most common reason for bleeding is that there is an area of raw skin on your cervix which bleeds easily, especially after intercourse although not always. Another reason may be that your placenta is low lying and very close to or covering your cervix and may cause heavier blood loss. If this has been identified earlier in pregnancy you will have been made aware of this eventuality and what to do.
Sometimes, despite everything that you have done to avoid one, and it is usually dependent on the shape of your pelvis, it is necessary to perform an assisted birth. Your baby could be showing signs of distress and it may be safer for you and him to have an assisted birth. Your baby’s head will probably be too low in your pelvis to make a Caesarean section a safe option. Also, a Caesarean section at full dilatation of your cervix carries a higher risk of infection and bleeding at this stage of your labour.
Your First Meeting
Mental health during pregnancy and afterwards is being taken far more seriously by medical professionals. During your initial consultation with your midwife you will be asked about current and past mental health problems. The reason for this is that you are more likely to become ill during your pregnancy or during the first year of your baby’s life, more so than at any other time in your life, if you’ve had or have severe mental illness.
What is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy is a highly specialised area of complimentary medicine that is funded through NHS hospitals such as ‘The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine’ and Glasgow’s ‘Centre of Integrative Care’, NHS GP’s, dentists, podiatrists, physiotherapists etc. There are also a number of private homeopaths
BBC Leeds invited me to comment today on the recent birth of triplets to a 55 year old woman from Lincolnshire. Here are my thoughts on this…
While there are inherent risks to mother and baby with every pregnancy those risks increase with age. There are also far higher risks to both mum and babies with triplet pregnancies and birth than for twin and single babies.