Friday, April 1, 2011


Wow, thank you so much for all your responses! I think there is nothing better than hearing firsthand from woman who have actually given birth and hearing what they have to say. Please keep the stories coming as I love reading them.

Just to follow up on that post, I do intend to have a birth plan or at least have written down my views on certain things. It won't be strict and I fully intend to let my midwife know that when it comes to the end result all I want is for this baby to be delivered safe and sound and healthy and for me to come out of it alive (that may sound overly dramatic but you know what I mean!). I am happy to have a c-section under recommendation and drugs if I ask for them and my midwife agrees that they would be helpful. I don't want pethidine (decided this ages ago) but would be open to gas and an epidural as a last resort. I know that my midwife is one of those woman who is an advocate for natural births and letting the body do what it has been designed to do, so I won't have any issues with her trying to push drugs on me, rather I believe it would be the other way around! Having said that though, she has about 35 years experience as a midwife so she certainly knows what she is talking about. I also know that due to friends experiences at this particular hospital that I need to be vocal about not letting the labour go on for too long if things aren't going to plan and things are turning pear shaped. I know two woman who have given birth here who went for hours over what they should have before having to have an emergency c-section, so I intend to speak to my midwife about this as I don't want that to happen to me. I just hope my asthma behaves itself as well. I have an appointment with a specialist soon to discuss the best approach to managing the labour due to this as my midwife doesn't want me taking my ventolin the week prior to my due date or during the labour itself, as it's been known to delay labour and could end in me needing to be induced, as well as slow down my progress during labour. My asthma is under control at the moment though but any kind of strenuous activity aggravates it and I imagine giving birth would be strenuous, so I need to keep that in mind too.

What other things do I need to take into consideration after the birth? There have been mentions of cutting the cord, leaving the cord attached for longer, skin to skin contact, if a c-section is required does the HG go with the baby or stay with me etc. All these things I have only just seen pop up in the comments and I had no idea I needed to be contemplating them. Can you guys please let me know all things that come to mind that I need to take into consideration when mapping out my plan? Thanks so much ladies! 


  1. Skin to skin time should be talked about, definately. I was at the hospital (PE induction) and the hospital staff were very rushed and pushy with me (my MW wasn't there) so skin to skin only lasted a few minutes before my baby was whisked away to get weighed etc :( which isn't really that important right away. This time round I will demand atleast the first hour.

    Another big thing to consider are visitors. Giving birth is exhausting and the days that follow (in hospital) can be a little overwhelming with all the new stuff you're learning. Do you want a huge amount of people seeing you at the hospital or would you prefer for them to wait until you get home? With my first I didn't think about it, and at one stage in my tiny curtained off, shared hospital room, I had 4 adults and 3 kids (all at once!!) I was in tears, tired and watching my baby being passed around (the kids aswel!!) like a little dolly was heartbreaking, but I didn't want to be rude and tell them no. So this time, while we are in the hospital we are only allowing both sets of parents to visit, then when we get home and if we feel up to it, brothers/sisters/best friends can visit, everyone else can wait until we are comfortable, settled and confident.

    Another long post! Sorry! :)

  2. Skin to skin is a good point, it's so good for mum and baby to be allowed that time. With Noah I only had a few mins then they took him and did all the measurements etc and wrapped him up then gave him back whereas with Lili she was left on my chest and just a banket put over us and we stayed like that for ages and she had her first feed. I think skin to skin is VERY important for the first feed, it does seem to help it happen more smoothly.
    As for the placenta there are different options, you can allow it to come out naturally or they can give you an injection to make it happen faster, I can't comment too much because I had the injections and I was glad to have that part over with but I have heard women say it helps bonding. Also you can leave the cord attached until the oxygen flow form the placenta stops or you can cut it straight away, again I can only comment on my experience which was cutting straight away and I was happy with that because bubs is able to be moved more freely.
    If it were me and I had a c-section hubby would DEFINITELY go with the baby... I guess once a baby comes along mum and dad are no longer the most important people :) I bet if the time came you wouldn't even think twice about it!
    It's great you are thinking about these things, good on you for being prepared but also keeping an open mind.

  3. Firstly thanks so much for sharing your story... your blog is an amazing place for you and all the lovely ladies reading and commenting.

    Sounds like you have it perfect - good understanding but prepared for whatever you and bubs need to see each other happy on the other side :) One thing I would mention is re the water birth... when I had my son at Tga Hospital they had birthing pools but only to assist in labouring not actual birth. Something to do with not accepting any liability for water births. I think they did potentially consider them if the midwife was prepared to accept all the legal bla bla herself. Just something to consider although sounds like you may have discussed this already and differs for your hospital which is great!

    All the very very best for your wee family :)

  4. Definitely talk to your specialist about your asthma. I'm an obstetrician, and I've never heard of anyone being told to try not to take their ventolin in the lead up to or in labour. Poorly controlled asthma or an attack during labour reduces your oxygen levels and is dangerous for you and your baby.

  5. Maybe I misunderstood, I'm sure the specialist will do what is in my best interests. It does make me nervous having asthma during labour but I have spoken to others who are considered bad asthmatics who had no problem during labour so hopefully I'll be the same!

  6. Hi M-I-W.
    Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you earlier. Asthma attacks in labour are not common, but it is fine to use you inhaler if you need to. In the past Ventolin was used to try to stop preterm labour, but it was given IV in big doses. This may be why your midwife suggested trying not to use ventolin just prior to or in labour. The inhaled doses used for asthma are much smaller, have very little effect on labour, and are very safe.

    And I forgot to say, I love your blog, and it's great to hear how well your pregnancy if progressing. I just hope it can be my turn soon (stim cycle 6 starts tomorrow).

    Best wishes.

  7. Are you sure hubby will need to choose between staying with you or going with the baby if you have to have a csection? With my c section the baby never went away from me, the hospital likes you to have skin to skin while they are doing the stitches, so maybe that is something you don't need to worry about.

    I think pethidine and the gas is the same thing?

  8. Pethidine and gas are most certainly not the same thing! I think it's good to stay away from the peth or morphine Haidee...these are nasty narcotics that can cross the placenta and thus affect your baby. It think gas also crosses the placenta, but as it's not broken down by the liver it doesn't leave by-products. It's eliminated very quickly from the body, where as babies whose mothers have had peth are generally very drowsy and can have trouble latching to the breast. Some people don't find the gas does a whole lot, but it worked really well for me! Didn't take away any pain but it helped me to really focus on my breathing and stopped me tensing up during contractions.

    With the c-section thing, I think generally the baby stays with mum, unless there is a complication and the baby needs medical attention. Also, if you have a real emergency and need to be put under GA, then you won't be awake during the birth and will have a few hours recovery, so it's good to have on your plan that your DH should stay with the baby at all times. I would recommend including that, in the event that you have to be separated from bub, that you insist DH and bub have skin-to-skin time. Bubby can just be tucked under his t-shirt and then blankets put over the top of that. It's so important for bonding, so if mummy can't be there immediately, daddy is the next best thing!

    Other things to think about:

    *when you want the cord clamped (be on the ball with this one...I had it written down, but I was too enthralled with V to notice what was happening; if it wasn't for DH and my student mw, that cord would have been clamped immediately...and this at a hospital that purports to have a policy of delayed cord-clamping. Grrr)
    * whether you want an assisted or physiological 3rd stage (again, be on the ball with this. I wrote down I wanted a physiological 3rd stage, and it was only because of my student mw I got to have one. First, the mw attending my last part of labour, who had 35 years experience, mind you, had never, ever seen one, so she jumped to give me the injection...student mw had to stop her; second, the experienced mw actually started tugging on the cord to help me pass the placenta as she was so used to it coming out quickly thanks to the injection that she didn't realise it was normal for it to take up to an hour! It's so dangerous to tug on the cord, so thank god my student mw was there. Moral of that story is: experience isn't everything! My student mw had far more up-to-date knowledge than the one with 35 years experience)

  9. Oops, the other comment was too long! Here's the rest:

    *immediate skin-to-skin contact (it's not important to know the baby's measurements straight away)
    *positions during labour...some hospitals like to control what positions you use, particularly for pushing, but this is for their convenience only. It is not good to be on your back. Research positions for labour and talk to your mw about not interfering in your labour and allowing you to move into positions as your instincts dictate
    *do you want drugs offered at any stage? This was big for me; I know what I'm like so I did not want them offered as I knew I'd take them in my fragile state and regret it later. I just noted that I or my DH would ask for them if I wanted them
    *I also included that I did not want an episiotomy. Obviously I would have had one if absolutely necessary, but they are rarely necessary so I thought it best to write down, "no episiotomy" so that way they would not even try to ask to give me one unless it was an emergency.
    *how many people you want or don't want in the room. It can disturb the process of labour to have bright lights, loud talking and people coming in and out all the time, so this is definitely something to think about
    *I would recommend checking if your hospital has cordless ctg monitors, in case they decide you need them. I was induced, and hospital policy required constant monitoring with induced labours, but if I didn't insist on being given one of the two sets of cordless monitors, I would have been confined to the bed. NOT GOOD. Really be proactive on this one. They gave me the ones with cords as standard, even though, when I insisted I have the cordless ones, they told me that they rarely use them, so it's not even like they were all being used at the time!
    *decide how you feel about internal checks for dilation. I know they are supposed to ask, but some medical staff seem to get a bit check happy and want to see how dilated you are all the time when it's quite unnecessary.
    *decide if you want to keep the placenta! You need to know this before hand, otherwise they will just take it away. Also make sure HG knows as the staff may need reminding when the time comes.

    That's all I can think of right now...I'll be sure to post again if I think of anything else important!

    Ali xo