A pioneer of ‘Developmental Baby Massage’ and ‘YogaGym’ for babies and children from the eighties, Peter currently has some ten thousand teachers in over twenty different countries all taught and certificated by him.
Your birth plan can help inform those caring for you in your pregnancy and labour if you have particular wishes and customs to be upheld. This is especially useful if you have not met the midwife looking after you during labour. Birth Plans are both individual and personnel to you and your partner, and there is no right and wrong way to write them. It is important to remember your birth plan is a guide and things may not always go the way you had anticipated, so keep an open mind. When it’s your first baby you do not know what you want or even what’s on offer. Parent Education /Antenatal Classes will enable you to make an informed choice about particular issues important to you and your partner. There are many courses /classes on offer, your local Maternity Unit will offer Antenatal Classes or you can access private classes run by Active Birth Teachers or NCT (National Childbirth Trust) etc.
Each Maternity Unit Varies in terms of the size and services offered. It’s best to discuss with your G.P. the services in your area. Antenatal Care can be shared between the Obstetrician and /or the Midwives and the G.P. This schedule of care will be discussed with you on your first visit and will also depend on your medical/ obstetric history. Providing everything remains normal throughout your pregnancy and labour you will be cared for entirely by the midwifery staff. However, if you required additional assistance obstetricians, anaesthetists and paediatricians would be readily available. After the birth of your baby you will be transferred to the postnatal area, where a team of midwives and support staff will look after you both. Most mothers and babies stay in hospital for one to two days following delivery. However it is possible to go home as soon as six hours after the birth, providing you are both well.
You may be able to opt to give birth in a Birth Centre/ Unit where a team of Midwives/Community Midwives will look you after, and occasionally your G.P. Birth Units may be part of the local Maternity Unit or a separate entity. The advantage of this option is that the Unit is more personal than a large hospital creating a more home-like environment. Here a midwife you would have met during your pregnancy will deliver your baby. There is also the back up of specialist hospital services should it be needed. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated with no obvious risk of complications during labour, then you may want to opt for this type of unit. However, Birthing Units are not as widely available as we would wish, so speak to your G.P. about the facilities in your local area.
Giving birth to your baby at home has many advantages. You will be in familiar surroundings, which enables you and your partner to feel in control of your environment and therefore more relaxed It’s best to speak to your G.P./ Midwife if you are interested in having a home birth. Providing your pregnancy has been uncomplicated and you have no medical conditions or previous problems in labours, then you should be able to have a home birth. Most hospital policies say that two Community Midwives should be present at the time of birth. Some G.Ps may attend the birth instead of a second midwife. If a problem were to develop during the labour the midwife would have the backup of the local Maternity Unit.