Ask the Expert: Preparing for Birth

Guide From Expert: Preparing For Birth

Preparing for the birth of your baby is exciting but can also be daunting. And if you’re a first time parent,Guest Posting it can be quite overwhelming. From birth plans, to types of birth, to pain relief and what to expect during the birth — there’s a lot to consider.

Christina is one of myTamarin’s pregnancy and newborn experts, night nanny and maternity nurse. We sat down with Christina to discuss her work as a birth doula and how she helps parents prepare for the birth of their babies. She also shared some tips and advice with us.

First of all, what is a doula?

A doula is someone who is there to serve and support women through pregnancy, birth and postnatally. As a birth and postnatal doula, I help prepare parents in the lead up to the birth of their baby and also support them in those first weeks and months after the baby is born.

A birth doula is there to guide and support parents through their transition into parenthood before the birth of their baby. They often meet with parents several months before the baby is born and talk through any questions they have about birth and also what their preferences are when it comes to the birth itself. They are there to be a reassuring presence, to make parents aware of all their options and to support and guide them. They offer something more to parents than usual nanny services or nanny agency jobs.

Postnatal doulas help parents once the baby is born, especially in those early days and weeks (although it can be longer). They support parents both practically and emotionally. This could involve helping the baby settle and allowing the parents to get some rest or helping with things that need to be done around the house.

When should parents start preparing for birth?

Around the four to five month mark of your pregnancy is a really good time to start thinking about the birth and begin making plans. However, if you do leave it until later, you can still get a lot done. If you do want to hire a birth doula, it is good to interview a few from the best nanny agency in UK to make sure that you get the right fit for you and your partner. Doing this early on means that you will have someone there at the end of the phone to talk with, if you have any questions about your appointments or the various stages leading up to the birth. However, some parents do leave it until the last minute, perhaps because they had a traumatic birth previously and anxiety is building the closer it gets to the birth, and this is also ok.

What is a birth plan?

It is normally something that is discussed with women when they go to their appointments with the midwife. As a doula, we would be looking at that in more detail and discussing things like types of pain relief, who you want to be present at the birth, if and when you want to transfer into hospital, when and who will cut the cord, whether you want vitamin k or not and how you want the ‘golden hour’ to unfold – which is the first hour of a baby’s life. It helps parents feel more in control. It is also something that the partner can take on during the actual birth and advocate for. It means there is always a point of reference, even if things go a little off plan at points, and parents’ wishes can always be known and taken into consideration.

What are the different types of birth?

It is always up to the parents to choose the type of birth that would suit them best.

One option is home birth. There are many networks out there, like the Positive Birth Movement, who can support parents around that. If you decide to give birth at home, you’ll still have a midwife there to support you while you’re in labour. If, for whatever reason, you need help or your labour is not progressing as it should, your midwife will arrange for you to be transferred into hospital.

Another option is to have a hospital birth. If you decide to give birth in hospital, you’ll be cared for by predominantly midwives, but doctors are available if needed. You can still make a lot of the decisions around the kind of birth you want and bring things with you to make it feel more homely.

Within a hospital birth, there is also scope for a c-section. This is an operation to deliver your baby through a cut made in your tummy and womb. Some women elect for a c-section for non-medical reasons. For others, it can be unplanned. There are various reasons for this such as the baby being in the breech position or the mother having high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia).

There are also some midwife led units that are less medicalised and are more comfortable and homely than a maternity unit in a hospital.

It is really about working out what you think would be best for you and doing some reading and research to decide. Parents should always take into consideration any medical or health needs too, so speak to your midwife and the hospital team who are taking care of you to talk through your options.

How can mums prepare physically and mentally for birth?

If you are someone who exercised a lot before your pregnancy then it is fine to continue, as long as you have discussed this with your medical team. However, it is not advised that you take on a new demanding and intense exercise regime if this is not something that you did previously. Swimming and yoga are really good as they can help you stay relaxed and you can also try out different positions for birth. At the end of pregnancy, lots of walking is recommended and sitting straight and upright so the baby can drop down into position.

When it comes to preparing mentally, having the support of a doula can really help as you then have someone who can talk through all of your options with you and be an advocate for you. They can also make sure parents have got all the knowledge they need. Putting together a birth plan can also really help parents have a clear idea of what they want your birth to be like.

What are the essential things to get for the baby?

The most important thing for a baby is to have its parents and to bond with them. We sometimes worry too much about the kit and having the latest things when it isn’t always necessary. Having a safe space for the baby to sleep, whether it’s a Moses basket or a crib, finding the best nannies is really important. Always get a firm and brand new mattress – other things can be second hand but it is really important that the mattress is new. Moses baskets are useful — especially in the early weeks and months — as you can put them on the sofa or and move them around easily. Swaddling can also be really lovely as it gives babies a sense of security and can help settle and soothe a baby to sleep, just make sure you follow the safety guidelines around it. Also just make sure you have plenty of muslins and baby grows. If you’re wanting to bottle feed, you need to think about bottles and sterilising equipment. For additional help needed for looking after your baby, you need nannies in UK from the top nanny and childcare agency.

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Birth Control needs, methods and information available for today’s women

Know the need, history and types of birth control pills available to prevent unplanned pregnancy

Need for birth control in today’s world

With the rapid growth of the population in the world as well as the increased sense in general awareness for HIV/AIDS,Guest Posting has forced to think on birth control methods. The current world’s population is estimated to be around 6.4 billion with annual growth of 76 million and hence, it is estimated to reach 9 billion by year 2050. In next two decades, world’s two highly populous countries, China & India are expected to reach the population of 1.5 billion each i.e more than one third of the total world population of that time. It is alarming situation for the world to control this “population explosion”. Therefore, United Nations are urging countries specially highly populated countries to control their population.

As per the survey report for birth control methods if applied in 169 countries, 137 million women willing to delay their contraceptives, 64 million women are using less effective birth control measures. If these women are helped with adequate birth control treatment (like pills, condoms), 23 million of unplanned births, 22 million induced abortions and 1.4 million infants could be avoided as estimated by United Nations Population Fund.

Besides population, HIV/AIDS is also very important factor forcing the need for birth control. An estimated, world has 38 million people have either AIDS or infected with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). In seven African countries, one out of 5 adults is infected with HIV. Birth control methods are, therefore, become imperative to control further spread of HIV/AIDS, particularly in these countries. The population in these countries is projected at 35% lower by 2025 free from HIV/AIDS. It will further reduce the total life expectancy by an average of 29 years in these countries.

History of Birth Control

200 AD, Greek gynecologist Soranus said that women become fertile during ovulation. He suggested some birth control tips for women to avoid unwanted pregnancy like smearing olive oil, pomegranate pulp, ginger, or tobacco juice around vagina to kill sperm, drinking water used by blacksmith to cool hot metals and jumping 7 times backward after the sexual intercourse. Many birth control methods like ayurvedic treatments used centuries ago (aside from sexual abstinence). However, there are some historical records of Egyptian women are found who were using some herbal or acid substances like crocodile dung or lubricants like honey or household olive oil as vaginal suppository, which they may have found effective at killing sperm.

However, commercial use of birth control method started in 1960 in the form of birth control pill. It was in 1950, when Planned Parenthood Federation of America invited biologist Dr. Gregory Pincus to develop oral contraceptive pill that would be harmless, universally acceptable and safe for husband and wife. After under going many tests with more than 6,000 women in Puerto Rico and Haiti , it was 1960 when the first commercially produced birth control pill called Enovid-10 was introduced to women in USA . This first oral contraceptive was made with two hormones Estrogen (100 to 175 microgram) and Progestin (10 mg). They were proved to be 99% effective if taken as directed. With estimation, more than 18 million women in US are relying on birth control pills

Types of birth control pills

Unlike the decades old oral contraceptive pills (which had higher number of hormones), today’s birth control pills are in low-dose forms with health benefits. So, women can take birth control pills with much fewer health risks.

Generally there are three types of birth control pills available

1. Progestin only pills (POP)

It is also known as “mini-pill” containing no estrogen. It is recommended for breastfeeding women because estrogen reduced milk production. This POP pill works by thickening the cervical mucus and thus preventing sperm to enter uterus

2. Combination birth control pills

The widely known birth control pills are having combination of two hormones progestin and estrogen. These types of oral contraceptive pills come with the pack of 21 “active pills” and 7 “placebos” , which do not contain any hormones. These are, in fact, known as “reminder pills”

These combination pills are further sub-divided into three types of pills due to the level of two hormones progestin and estrogen.

i) Monophasic birth control pills

Here, every active pill contains the equal number of progestin and estrogen. The other seven pills are placebo having no hormones. Menstruation starts when these placebo pills are taken

ii) Multiphasic birth control pills

They are also known as biphasic or trphasic oral contraceptive pills due to different levels of hormones in active pills. These pills are required to be taken at specific time in its entire pills schedule. Multiphasic birth control pills help offsetting the risks of oral contraceptives.

iii) Continuous birth control pills

it is also known as 365 days pills to be taken continuously throughout the year without the year. This is the new entry of oral contraceptive pills in the birth control market. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Lybrel, which is the only continuous birth control pill approved so far and available for general women use. Women do not get menstrual period while they are under the treatment of Lybrel, however, they might find some breakthrough bleeding or spotting, particularly at the initial stage.

3) Emergency birth control pills

Also known as “morning after pills”, these are designed for immediate pregnancy protection after the unprotected sex. It is highly recommended to take emergency pills within 48 hours and maximum 72 hours to be effective in avoiding pregnancy. These are different than usual oral contraceptive pills where you plan your birth control much in advance. Emergency pills are also taken when the women are sexually assaulted. FDA has approved Plan B as the safest emergency pills. Due to OTC (over the counter) approval by FDA for women above 18 years, Plan B can now be ordered behind pharmacy counter.

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