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  • We hear so much about what we should and should not do when we’re pregnant. With so many opinions coming at us from different directions, some days it can make you want to take a short walk to the couch and call it a day.

    But getting out and staying active is good for you and your baby. Provided you act with the appropriate care to your body, there are some really great benefits to be gained from exercising during your pregnancy.

    pregnant woman in pool

    Benefits of Exercise

    Exercise during pregnancy can help moderate weight gain, even out the effects of fluctuating hormone levels, improve back pain, help you sleep better, help you maintain a good level of fitness and muscle strength so that your body can recover well after delivery, and can also prevent the onset of Gestational Diabetes (or help treat the condition should Gestational Diabetes occur).

    As a general rule 30 minutes per day on most days of the week of light to moderate exercise is beneficial for pregnant women. Even if you have not been active before your pregnancy, you can still reap the rewards by starting to exercise when you’re pregnant. Take it in small steps and build up to the recommended amount over time so that you don’t overexert yourself.

    A changing body means changing limitations

    In general, if you are a healthy woman who has exercised before her pregnancy, and is experiencing no complications, you will most likely be able to keep up with your exercise routine provided you feel comfortable.

    But there are many physiological changes that you will go through during your pregnancy and this may change how you participate in exercise as you progress through your pregnancy.

    Things such as:

    • change in centre of gravity
    • weight gain and change in body shape
    • loosening of ligaments and joints
    • increase in resting heart rate
    • decrease in blood pressure
    • weakening of the pelvic floor muscles

    can all affect how well your body can perform exercises that you did before you were pregnant.

    These changes can make it harder to keep your balance, for your body to handle ‘jerky’ movements or sudden changes in direction (like netball), and for your body to take strain in certain parts of your body.

    Importantly, whenever undertaking any exercise – listen to your body – it is often very good at telling us when something does not feel right. If you’re feeling exhausted, light-headed, dizzy, or experiencing pain or vaginal bleeding at any stage – stop and consult a healthcare professional.

    Low to moderate exercise is recommended

    Some good exercises to try are:

    • Brisk walking is a great cardio exercise that is easy on the joints, whilst still being a moderate form of exercise (provided you don’t stroll).
    • Swimming is wonderful because it alleviates most of the effects of gravity, making it easier to be active. Just make sure the pool isn’t heated too-high as this can have a negative effect on your unborn child. Not to mention making you uncomfortable or dehydrated.
    • Aquanatal classes make good use of the low gravity conditions that are present in water to help pregnant women be active whilst alleviating pressure on the back and joints.
    • Cycling is fantastic exercise that can be done at a light to moderate level. The changes to your body during pregnancy can affect your centre of gravity and your balance. If you are feeling a bit off or lightheaded, ride a stationary bike indoors to avoid nasty falls.
    • Pregnancy Yoga and Pilates are great strength and conditioning exercises for the body and can be easily adapted for pregnant women. Visit a practitioner that is properly qualified and experienced in teaching pregnant women as they will know how to adapt the exercises for your body. Avoid hot yoga while you are pregnant.
  • Women birthing on the Community Midwifery Program are overwhelmingly positive about their experience of birth, even when things do not going according to plan:

    Here is Madelyn’s story:

    Happy Health Baby Paige

    My birth story was completely not what I had imagined but it taught me that you cannot control everything and that the only thing that is important is that you and your baby are happy and healthy at the end of it.

    Ever since finding out I was pregnant I was dead set on a natural as possible birth, at home with my hubby Paul, birth pool, candles letting my body do the work. I spent my pregnancy going to Hypno birthing classes, learning how to relax into the surges and trust my body to do its thing. I was Zen with a capital Z.

    Then my due date came, and ten more days after it and still no baby. My mum, who had flown over from New Zealand had to extend her stay. I alternated between good days and bad wondering if my some women just never went into labour naturally. I had had five stretch and sweeps, ate currys, pineapple, nipple stimulation, acupuncture; everything I could think of and I didn’t feel any closer to meeting my baby. I referred back to my Hypno birthing which helped to keep me calm and to trust my body.

    Late Monday evening I began to have low pains in my abdomen and wondered if this was finally it.

    I went to bed, quietly excited but after two hours of the same waves at 15 minute intervals I woke Paul and we lay in bed together, enjoying our last moments as just the two of us. The surges came stronger and stronger through the night. Around 1 am I felt a small trickle of fluid run down my leg as I got up to go to the loo, then two hours later I had my bloody show.

    We decided not to wake my mum just yet but spent the night watching TV with candles and set up the birth pool as my surges got stronger and closer together. In the morning my midwife Sue Ann came over to check me as my surges were getting to 5 minutes apart. I was so excited at how well I thought I was coping, surely I must be about 4 cm by now. Nothing. Not even 1 cm dilated. I was gutted. I had an appointment booked anyway at my domino hospital that morning for a scan and trace to check on baby’s health so we decided I would go along to that and see if we could get any answers. The scan didn’t tell us much and I was then strapped up to trace the baby’s heart rate for a couple of hours. Sue Ann noticed that the baby’s heart rate had elevated from that morning but the on call doctor seemed not too bothered by it. After a few hours it was decided I would be sent home.

    As Sue Ann started to leave I was hit by a huge surge and felt a gush of liquid coming out of me, thinking it was my waters I had her called back and we saw that it was a lot of bright red blood, that kept coming every time I had another surge.

    Consultants were called in and before I knew it there were a number of doctors around me. Still in my Hypno birthing calm phase I thought they were students and was continuing to joke with my husband and mum while the doctors and Sue Ann discussed the plan of action. I didn’t realise how serious things were getting until one of the doctors put an IV into my hand and they started to wheel me to the labour ward. Then the word Caesarean was brought up and I was terrified. My waters were broken to see if that would get me dilating which, combined with my fear sent me into painful surges that I was struggling to get through.

    I was still only 2 cm and my baby’s heart rate kept dipping with every surge. Within the space of about 45 minutes I went from getting ready to go home to being prepped for a Caesarean.

    Sue Ann was amazing at talking my through my surges and keeping me calm. She was very vocal and took charge with making sure my wishes were heard. Although I couldn’t have delayed cord clamping, she made sure Paul was the one to announce the sex of the baby; a beautiful little girl.

    Within minutes she was on my chest and didn’t leave my side for the rest of the night. If Sue Ann wasn’t there, making herself heard, I’m not sure if we would have had those things which were very important to us. In the end Paige had the cord tight around her neck and a placental abruption, so we were in the right place at the right time.  Even though I didn’t get my home birth I dreamed of, far from it, as soon as Paige was in my arms I didn’t care. Our bond is amazing, and I credit that to Sue Ann making sure what we could control we did, and the rest just makes for a good story.

  • working pregnant woman

    How to Juggle Work and Pregnancy

     

    You’ve told your family, celebrated the news with friends, and now you’ve let your manager know too – You’re pregnant! Congratulations.

    But while you have visions of yourself in the Superwoman costume (maternity edition, or course), you’re not quite sure what it actually takes to successfully manage work and pregnancy while still giving yourself (and your baby) the care you need.

    Here’s a few tips to help you master the juggling act.

    Fatigue during the day…

    It’s hard work growing a baby which is great when you get to eat for two, but not so great when you start falling asleep on the job. Eating foods rich in iron and protein, drinking lots, and keeping up light exercise can help boost energy levels during the day.

    At most workplaces, sneaking in a power nap is not going to be possible. If you work from home, nap on my friend. If you don’t, try and break up your day with a short walk to the other side of the office, get out and see a client, make yourself a snack or a tea, anything to avoid waking up with your keypad indented on your forehead.

    Baby Brain? Not a problem…

    It’s one of those things that happens to almost every pregnant woman at least once. But when ‘baby brain’ strikes at work, it can have us appearing as though we’re behind the eight ball.

    Our best solution to combat forgetfulness? Take notes – lots of them. Make a habit of writing everything down, and make short notes of your phone conversations to refer back to later.

    Also try and do the most challenging things when your feeling switched on and put your email calendar to good use by setting alerts and reminders to help you keep on track throughout the day.

    Morning sickness blues

    There is nothing worse than having persistent morning (or all-day) sickness when trying to keep up appearances at work. Hopefully your boss will be understanding of your symptoms, but the less you have to call on his/her patience, the better.

    To help keep the nausea at bay, try drinking carbonated drinks like sparkling water, and eating bland snack foods before you get hungry – keep some dry crackers by your desk, or in your drawer for a quick fix.

    During meetings, sit by the door for a quick and discrete exit if you need one. It’s also a good idea to carry mouthwash with you so you’re prepared for the times when your stomach really does ‘heave ho’.

    People touching your belly uninvited…

    As your baby bump grows, the frequency of friends, colleagues and strangers trying to touch your stomach can have you feeling like a bronzed Buddha. If your levels of discomfort skyrocket above ‘red alert’ when someone touches your bump, consider hiring a belly (body) guard…

    If you have to be your own belly guard, don’t be afraid to say something when someone (including your manager, colleagues, and clients) touches your stomach uninvited. A simple ‘I’d prefer it if you didn’t touch my stomach’, or ‘Please don’t touch my stomach, it makes me uncomfortable’, is all it takes to let people know they’ve crossed a boundary.

    Some people might be affronted or taken aback, but most will be apologetic about having invaded your space without your consent.

    Fitting in all those antenatal appointments…

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if pregnancy automatically meant that you got more hours in the day than everyone else, just to fit in all those extra appointments you have to go to?

    Unfortunately, the rules of time and space don’t make exceptions for the pregnant working woman, but don’t worry too much because all those antenatal appointments can be taken from your sick leave allowance.

    So long as you do the right thing by your manager by letting him/her know in advance, they’ll be able to work around you.

    Leaving the workplace…

    Your career might look different after you have a baby, but that does not mean your hard-won career gains will disappear down the drain. There are plenty of mothers who successfully balance motherhood with their careers, and there is no reason why you can’t do the same.

    But, as a parent, you will have new obligations, so try to stay open-minded about your options and discuss them with your employer before you leave.

    Come to the conversation prepared with ideas about how changing your work situation could be mutually beneficial, and you’ll both feel good about the evolution of your role when you return to the workplace.

  • So life is pretty great after having a child. You’ve found your routine, learned a ton of new skills, and have finally accepted that sleep-ins will not happen to you again until your blessed little angel hits the teenage years.

    So you’re looking for the next challenge; you decide to have baby number two.

    sad sibling with pregnant mum

    But the second time around, things are going to be different. The first time it was just you and your partner, and you had the luxury of time and space to get prepared and organised before the baby arrived. This time, there’s also a little person who is still learning about the world and is used to having mum and dad all to themselves.

    It can be a massive change for a child whose life experience is limited to a world where mum and dad are able to attend to his/her needs and wants as soon as they arise. When a new baby arrives requiring a lot of time and attention, it can be difficult for a child to understand why they suddenly have to share mum and dad.

    To avoid sibling rivalry and ease the transition for your young family, here are some ways to help your child adjust.

    1. Let them get used to the idea of having a sibling

    Start telling your child what is happening ahead of time. Let them know that mummy and daddy are going to give them a little brother or sister and involve them in the process of letting friends and family know. This makes it exciting for them as well and reinforces what a positive event it will be.

     

    1. Explain how the new family structure will work

    Let your child know how important their job as an older sibling will be. Use positive language and talk about it regularly leading up to the birth so they can come to understand it for themselves. If you’re having trouble, there are some beautifully illustrated storybooks that can help with this.

     

    1. Make other major changes before the baby arrives

    If you need to make major changes to your child’s life like move them into another bedroom, do so well before the baby arrives so that your child doesn’t feel displaced by their new sibling. Give them time to settle in before the baby arrives on the scene to allow them to become secure in their new surroundings.

    1. Get them involved in the baby’s life

    Let them help you in preparing for the new baby’s arrival by asking them to pick out a toy for the baby’s cot. When the baby is at home, find ways for them to be involved in caring for the baby as well. Can they fetch wipes for you when your hands are full on the change table? Can they grab a fresh flannel or towel at bath time? Allowing them to do little things to help you can help your older child to feel involved in the family ‘team’. Be sure to thank them sincerely and let them know that their efforts are appreciated.

    1. Set aside quality time for just you and your older child

    Take them to the library, or the park or even just stay at home doing an activity of their choosing. It doesn’t have to be very long, just 15 minutes will do. Use this time to focus on them and listen to their thoughts on the new baby. This will help to alleviate some of those behavioural problems that stem from a sudden lack of attention because of the focus on the new baby.

    1. Keep as much consistency as you can

    Try to keep as much of your child’s routine as consistent as possible. Keeping the same bedtimes will prevent the effects of disruption (and preserve your sanity!).

    And finally, don’t hesitate to call in for back up if you need it. Call on the support of your partner or other family members or friends to help you out at home when things get a little crazy. After all, young children use up a lot of energy and even with the best preparations, things can get out of hand very quickly when there is more than one small child begging for more from you. Having someone on standby to help can be a godsend for those days when nothing else will work.

     

  • dad holding baby in sunshine

    Preparing for childbirth is like training for any big event, the preparation starts months in advance.  Rocking up on the day is not an option. Endurance, strength and will power will be required. Getting informed and practicing your supporting skills are crucial to give you the best chance of the big day going as intended.

    “Is there anything I can do?”

    Sometimes you may feel like you are on the sidelines, an onlooker watching as your partner experiences pregnancy and childbirth. When you are unsure of how she is feeling or what she needs, simply ask “Is there anything I can do?” (And be willing to follow through on the request).

    Sometimes the answer will be a hug or making dinner so she can have a rest. The request could also be slightly more complex. She may need you to motivate and reassure her when she is feeling tired or emotional. She may also need you to explain her plans and expectations for birth to a midwife so she can focus on being in labour. So when these requests happen, being as prepared, willing and ready to go is paramount.

    The payoff for asking this simple question is the bonding you will experience, and the feelings of support your partner will feel knowing that you are a team and that she doesn’t need to go through pregnancy and childbirth alone.

    1. Listen to her

    The relationship you have with your partner during pregnancy and childbirth can be strengthened by healthy communication. Listening to your partner and being there for her to share concerns and experiences with will go a long way to bridging the gap in the understanding between what she is experiencing and how you can support her through it.

    Talking about expectations and intentions before your partner is in labour will make it much easier to support her and predict what she needs on the day. Give her time and space and encourage her to trust her body and her instincts. Respect and support her decisions, it is likely she has researched and thought a great deal about them so being dismissive may hurt and insult her judgment.

    1. Get up to speed and get informed

    Gather and absorb information about pregnancy and birth in whatever way suits you best. Read books and blogs. Talk to midwives, birth educators, other parents, friends, and people whose opinions you trust.

    Go to a birth education class and as many antenatal classes as you can with your partner. If you are tempted to wing it, rethink that strategy. If you are inclined to avoid the classes and appointments because it feels a bit awkward, DON’T.  You will feel much more awkward and underprepared on the day if you and your partner are not on the same page and she doesn’t feel supported.

    1. Love and affection

    Remind your partner how much you love her. Be affectionate, kissing and hugging your partner will remind her she is not just pregnant, she is also a woman, and a mother and a lover too. Ultimately feeling appreciated, loved, maybe even sexy will help her feel relaxed and empowered in her pregnancy and during childbirth.

    1. Help her relax

    Giving your partner a massage while she is pregnant can relieve any pain and stress she is feeling and will also help you get to know what type of massage she enjoys.  Practice using different amounts of pressure and depth and ask her which areas she would like you to focus on.

    Run her a bath, light some candles, and grab her favourite chocolate at the shops. Offer to go for a walk together at the beach. When she is really tired, really irritable and doesn’t want to “do” anything pass her the TV remote, and repeat after me. “Put on whatever you like. I’ll watch it with you while I massage your feet”. And then just for good measure “Is there anything else I can do?”

    1. Be her Coach, offering support and encouragement

    Believe in her, even when she doesn’t believe in herself. Print out motivating birth affirmations, stick them on her wall, fridge and the back of the toilet door. Looking at them regularly will embed positive messages you and your partner can draw on during labour.

    1. Be prepared

    Sometimes packing or preparing the practical stuff for labour gets over looked . Think about food, water and music she might like to listen to (and something to play it on). Extra clothing for all seasons, hairclips, lip balm, and baby wipes can be handy. For extra brownie points soft lighting can be created and easily transported by using realistic looking electric or battery operated candles.

    1. Be her advocate and her personal assistant

    While your partner is in labour, she is in midst of one of the most important events of her life and chances are she needs time and space to focus on herself an her baby and doesn’t want to be interrupted. Act as her personal assistant by letting medical staff and family members know when the “do not disturb” sign is up.

    If you know her intentions and her plan for how she would like to manage her birth, then make it your job to advocate for her and manage the birth attendants during labour. This draws on the knowledge, trust and connection you have formed by communicating and listening to your partner during pregnancy.

    Pregnancy and birth is an experience you will be sharing together that is like no other. No two births or women are the same. So when in doubt just look lovingly, affectionately and supportively into the eyes of your pregnant partner and say those sweet, simple words “Is there anything I can do?”

  • If you are thinking about a low intervention birth in Perth, Western Australia, here are a few options for you to consider that support and facilitate low intervention birth.

    Pregnant woman in cozy jumper reading about child birth

    Thinking about a low intervention birth, here are a few options.

    1. Home birth

    The option of a homebirth is available in Western Australia either with the Community Midwifery Program (CMP) which is a government run program, or with a Privately Practicing Midwife. The CMP is publicly funded, so if you have a valid Medicare card you will incur no costs. More about CMP >>

    During your pregnancy you will see your midwife regularly to check on your progress. These appointments may take place in your home or at a community clinic. When you go into labour, you stay home and are attended by your midwife. In some circumstances it may be necessary to transfer into hospital for additional maternity care. More about Homebirth>>

    Counting baby's toes

    Baby brother at home

    1. Birth Centre

    The CMP has 2 birthing rooms attached to Kalamunda Hospital for exclusive use by CMP clients. The Kalamunda Birthing Rooms are Midwifery led. The CMP Midwives run weekly antenatal and postnatal clinics in the Kalamunda space and also hold education sessions, mums and bubs and informative talks in the group room on many issues related to pregnancy birth and beyond.

    The Family Birth Centre at King Edward Memorial Hospital is a public service.  The Family Birth Centre is not a labour ward, but rather aims to create a home-like environment for women to labour and birth in.

    1. Domino Birth

      Domino birth ChameleonsEye-Shutterstock.com

      Choose to birth in hospital with your known Midwife. Image credit – ChameleonsEye – Shutterstock.com

    A domino birth on the CMP is where you choose to birth in hospital but with your known midwife. CMP midwives will provide you with care during your pregnancy within the community. Where possible, one of your midwives will then attend hospital with you when you are in labour and care for you in hospital throughout the labour and birth. When you are discharged home from hospital your CMP midwives will continue to care for you for up to 2 weeks postnatal.

    1. Water Birth

    A birth pool gives you a deep pool of warm water in which to kneel or squat or lie, and a comfortable edge to hold on to.  Water has been shown to reduce the need for pharmacological pain relief and the incidence of perineal trauma and obstetric interventions.

    Whether you can labour and/or birth in water will vary greatly depending on the place you choose to birth. Availability of birth pools and staff will also affect your ability to birth in water. Talk to your Midwife or call TheBumpWA on 9498 6033 to find out which places water birth is currently available.

    Waterbirth 20 seconds old

    Water birth baby 20 seconds old

    Water is a wonderful, natural way to manage the intensity of labour. Once you are well established in labour, getting into a birth pool provides instant relief. The warm water soothes, and the buoyancy allows you to move around, which also assists in managing the intensity of labour.

    If you are planning a water birth you may need to organise your own birth pool and liner. Pools can be hired from The Bump WA.

    Like The Bump WA on Facebook to keep up to date with everything pregnancy, birth and early parenting.

     

     

     

  • Ina May Gaskin is a Leading Midwife, author and founder of a US based midwifery centre with over forty years’ experience in the field of midwifery. Gaskin also developed The Gaskin manoeuvre for birth when shoulder dystocia occurs.

    “We are the only species of mammal that can doubt its capacity to give birth.” – Gaskin, 2013.

    In her 2013 Ted Talk Gaskin talks about how to reduce fear of birth. With a wealth of knowledge and experience in natural low intervention childbirth in the US some of her most poignant advice to expectant mothers and support people is simple.

    • Smile
    • Use humour and affection to relax the mother
    • Don’t share negative, horrific birth stories that scare the mother
    • Create an atmosphere where the mother feels safe, calm and in control
    • and finally “Your body is not a lemon”.
    Prepare for childbirth - reading

    Borrow some of Ina May ‘s books from our library

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Preparation for Birth

    Preparing for birth during pregnancy can be done in a number of ways. Attending a workshop, or talking to friends and family is a common way for women to find out about birth. If you are looking for more information to fully prepare for childbirth, there are many books on everything to do with pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting.

    Ina May Gaskin’s books are informative and warm and cover topics that will assist you to prepare for birth, regardless of where you chose to birth, or who your care providers are.

    Books by Gaskin

    Borrow some of Ina May’s books from our library here. The Bump Library Books >>

    Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – What you need to know to have the best birth experience for you. Drawing upon her thirty-plus years of experience.

    Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding – From leading midwife and the author comes this deeply compassionate and comprehensive guide to making breastfeeding a joyful experience for both mother.

    Birth Matters – A collection of writings by women and men working to improve women’s maternity care and the quality of birth.

    “Your body is not a lemon.” – Gaskin, 2013.

    Borrow any number of books about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting from our library here or if your interested in Ina May Gaskin check her website and Ted Talk here.

    References

    Borrow some books from our library

    Preparing for birth during pregnancy can be done in a number of ways

  • iStock_000002991707Large

    If you are reading this right now it is likely that you are heading into the final months of pregnancy and an unforgiving Australian summer and chances are you have thought on more than one occasion, to check whether the air-conditioner is set on the heat or cooling setting, just to be sure. You may be feeling hotter than usual and more than a bit bothered by this stage so here are a few ideas that will help you breeze through the coming weeks, and labour without having to permanently prop open the freezer door or install multiple air-conditioners.

    1. Have an ice pole. Obviously!

    Ice poles are also great relief during labour. If you are labouring at home, then just grab one out of the freezer. If you are going to a birthing centre or hospital take an esky with you to keep them cold or ask staff to put them in the freezer for you. While you may not feel hungry during labour, your body is working hard and is using a lot of energy. Suck on an ice pole in the early stages of labour or between surges. If you are looking at combating dehydration and fatigue during longer labours try substituting regular fruit juice style ice poles with electrolyte rehydration ice blocks available from your local pharmacy.

    Ice poles are by far one of the most fun ways of keeping cool, and one of the simplest. Stock your freezer full of them and when you have one, use it as an opportunity to stop whatever you are doing, put your feet up and relax in this mini moment of bliss. If you are looking after small children while you are doing this, giving them one too will give you a better chance at actually achieving this.

    2. Drink water.

    It may seem obvious but as your baby grows and puts more pressure on your bladder, you might start to do the maths on trips to the toilet verses water intake and avoid drinking altogether at certain times of day. Keeping up water intake during pregnancy is important and will also help you avoid lethargy and headaches.

    3. Be in the water during labour. Pregnant lady belly picture

    Water can have many benefits during labour. If you have been in the pool, beach or bath during pregnancy you will know the feeling of weightlessness is unparalleled by any other during pregnancy. Being in water promotes relaxation and can be fantastic for pain relief and staying calm. Being in a birth pool during labour can allow you to get into positions that are comfortable for birth and can assist with optimal foetal positioning. Alan Watts, a British-born Philosopher, says it best.

    “To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.” Alan Watts.

    4. Attend a preparation for birth workshop.

    Information is power. Learning about what to expect from pregnancy, birth and early parenting can answer the many questions you may have and leave you feeling informed, empowered and ready to bring your baby into the world. You will also learn relaxation techniques that can assist you through labour pain, keep your mind focused and your blood pressure and from skyrocketing. Also, it is highly likely that your venue will have air-conditioning (that is definitely switched to the cold setting) and may be willing to give you a shoulder massage if requested.

    5. Mind over matter.

    When all else fails, ask your partner, a friend or a very understanding work colleague to fan a folded up newspaper in front of your face while you wedge an icepack under the collar of your shirt, and focus on how infinitely unimportant this will all seem, when you finally get to hold your baby in your hot, sweaty arms for the very first time.

    Thinking about situations that are cool and refreshing can be of comfort. Close your eyes and imagine you are walking bare foot through the snow, or standing under a cool waterfall (when in fact you may be barefoot on your kitchen tiles or standing in the shower). At worst it will distract you for a little while and at best it will remind you that your mind is as powerful as your body during pregnancy and labour.

    Reference: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/alanwatts253006.html, accessed 12/01/2015.

  • Look after your pelvic floor muscles in pregnancy

    Pregnant mums exercizing pelvic floor muscles

    Pregnancy and childbirth are two of the major life events associated with urinary incontinence, which is why the Continence Foundation of Australia has launched an awareness campaign focusing on maternity.

    One in three women who have ever had a baby experience some form of urinary incontinence. Moreover, of the 4.2 million Australians (aged 15 years and over) affected by urinary incontinence, 80% are women, with problems arising primarily after childbirth and menopause. The Continence Foundation’s project, Pelvic floor awareness in pregnancy, childbirth and beyond aims to prevent pregnancy-related incontinence and reduce the number of women unnecessarily putting up with urinary incontinence after childbirth.

    The Continence Foundation’s project manager and health promotion officer, Samantha Scoble, said that women needed to prioritize their pelvic floor health by incorporating pelvic floor exercises into their daily routine. She said clinical studies showed that pelvic floor muscle exercises were effective in treating incontinence among pre and postnatal women.

    Five steps for a health pelvic floor:

    1. Practice good toilet habits – Don’t get into the habit of emptying your bladder when it’s only half full; go only when you get the urge. And when you go, don’t rush. Be sure to empty your bladder fully or you may risk a bladder infection.
    2. Maintain good bowel habits – Ensure you consume enough fibre and liquid to avoid constipation, because straining on the toilet can strain and weaken your pelvic floor muscles.
    3. Drink plenty of fluids – Ensure your daily fluid intake is 1.5 to 2 litres, unless your doctor advises otherwise.
    4. Look after your pelvic floor muscles – Learn the correct way to do your pelvic floor exercises (go to continence.org.au or phone 1800 33 00 66) and do them everyday. You can also be guided by your midwife, your doctor, continence nurse or physiotherapist.
    5. Exercise regularly – Walking is great, but if you want to be more active, engage only in pelvic floor-safe exercises that do not put excess strain on your pelvic floor. Go to pelvicfloorfirst.org.au for more information.

     

  • sleeping baby

    Babies spend a lot of their time sleeping. Some sleeping arrangements are not safe. They can increase the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) including SIDS and fatal sleeping accidents. SIDS remains the most common category of deaths between one month and one year of age. Research has found some important ways to reduce the risk of sudden infant death and create a safe sleeping environment for babies.

    How to Sleep your Baby Safely:

    1. Sleep baby on the back from birth, not on the tummy or side

    2. Sleep baby with head and face uncovered

    3. Keep baby smoke free before birth and after

    4. Provide a safe sleeping environment night and day

    5. Sleep baby in their own safe sleeping place in the same room as an adult caregiver for the first six to twelve months

    6. Breastfeed baby

    For more information go to http://www.sidsandkids.org/safe-sleeping/