Friday, 25 May 2012

Hooray for Hypnobirthing and 'Hello Adam'

Sorry for the radio silence readers - I've been busy having a baby don't you know. 

Having never been early for anything in my life, I was a bit surprised to find myself in labour last Tuesday evening, 2 days BEFORE my due date. Having also been previously induced, I wasn't totally au fait with spontaneous labour thingy, so I took a little convincing I was really having a baby. Oh so that was a 'show'....

After calling my parents and alerting them to the fact they didn't need to rush, but perhaps could come down that evening (the appointed babysitters for our toddler), I was taken by surprise when my waters went pop! The subsequent contractions arriving every 3-2 minutes apart convinced me to get on the phone again and suggest my parents did rush.

After getting to Kingston Hospital - which I opted for after a not so nice 5 day stay at St Peters for my firstborn - things calmly but quickly progressed. As a previous subscriber to hypnobirthing I was geared up to do it all again; breathing exercises, affirmations and the rest. Well - it worked. 6 hours later and a bit of gas and air for last 6 minutes, and a healthy 7lb 9oz baby born was in my arms. Adam John Michiel Friedländer. Big sister Juliet thinks he is the best thing since the bubble machine.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Things that make you go eeeoooooww. Part I: Pooey Birth Facts

Given you are reading this post, the chances are you are already pregnant and far enough along to be wondering what lies imminently ahead. In which case its too late to change your mind about the whole thing! The following might get you wincing, or, at the very least pulling a funny face, but take strength in the fact that every single woman who has had a baby has faced similar challenges and yet there are plenty of of them who go on to do it all over again - myself included.

So here we go. with the first instalment of gooey and grimace worthy facts about birth and poo..


Not compulsory, but a fair few women do get these as a result of either pregnancy and or birth. In my experience, and that of my pregnancy friends, it seems that hemorrhoids will protrude their ugly little heads during pregnancy (before birth) if they are going to at all. If you have made it up to birth'day' without an appearance, the chances are you've been let off. However, as there is a fair bit of pushing and pressure involved for a vaginal birth, your bottom hole will probably look a bit different for a week or so afterwards. Don't panic, it will go back to normal eventually. You can always use haemorrhoid creams for a few days to reduce swelling, and to comfort the area around your bottom hole.

Will I poo myself during labour?

If there is any poo in your lower colon during labour it will probably get pushed out during the final stage of delivery. There really isn't much room in your pelvis for anything other than that baby's head. The good news is your body tends to naturally try and expel any poo ahead of delivery so it shouldn't be a mega amount of poo anyway. Just mention it ahead of time to your birth partner (so they are expecting it), and if it really bothers you have a chat with the midwives before and they will be able to discreetly clear it away. You probably won't even notice -you'll be too busy thinking 'Oh my god, I can feel a baby's head coming out'.

 Meconium AKA Baby's First Poo

This is the first poo the baby does and it is like tar; very dark brown, sticky, and a bugger to wipe off with cotton wool balls and water. If your birth goes smoothly and the baby remains relaxed, they will probably do their first poo in the first 24 hrs following birth. Some babies who have become stressed during birth, which is fairly common so don't panic, do their poo during birth. The midwives will be able to see whether there is meconium in your waters, and will also be able to track the baby's stress levels by checking their heart rate. There isn't much you can do to prevent this from happening, but understanding whats happening is a big advantage and will help you to remain calm. If the midwives find meconium in your waters and suspect the baby may have inhaled some, they might want to observe or treat the baby after birth to ensure no infection follows.

Mummy's First Poo Post Birth

It is with some trepidation you will find yourself seated on the loo, almost willing your first poo to simply plop out and not to require any pushing whatsoever. You never know it could happen. However, it might take a little more than that. First thing is a positive frame of mind; if you had a relatively straightforward delivery with minimal or no tearing, be assured your bottom will survive doing a poo without things falling apart.To relieve some pressure on the perineum (the stretch of skin between the vagina and your bottom hole),  hold a sanitary pad gently but firmly against the perineum when pushing. It also helps to drink lots of water and eat high fibre foods to keep your stools soft and easier to pass.

Disclaimer: Contrary to my dressing up outfits, I am not a qualified doctor, and medical advice is based on personal experience and here say - if you have any medical concerns you should always consult your doctor or a trained member of the medical profession.