My services include:
Birth Preparation Sessions
- Explore how you can maximise your and your baby’s health in pregnancy through great nutrition, gentle exercise and mind calming strategies.
- Help you and your partner understand what happens during the process of birth to give you confidence and appreciation of this awesome event.
- Talk about the factors that help birth unfold smoothly as well as some issues which can make ii more challenging.
- Anticipate the joys of welcoming and feeding your baby in the first hours after birth, and think about your priorities for the start of your new family life.
- Learn about the reasons for routine clinical hospital procedures and think about their benefits and as well as the challenges they can present.
These sessions aim to help you both feel happy anticipation about the birth, confidence in the process itself, and trust in the mother’s body wisdom, and innate capacity to give birth. Further resources and links to support services are also offered.
Birth Friend Support at Births
I will be on call to come and be with you from whenever you feel you would like me to be present for labour and birth until after your baby is born and you are both settled and enjoying your early cuddles. I seek to support you and your partner through this adventure using caring, calmness and my continuous presence. Your midwifery care will normally be undertaken by the carers you have booked with whether this is an independent midwife or local NHS services.
I will be with you wherever you plan to give birth, at home, in a midwifery led unit or a delivery suite. You may value early labour support at home if you are planning a hospital birth. When you decide to go to hospital, I will help you make this transition as smooth as possible and help you settle in to your planned birth place.
I seek to work cooperatively with you, your partner and the clinical staff providing your care, and help you communicate any particular needs or concerns you may have about care options and birth interventions to hospital staff. I may also be able to help you understand issues that sometimes arise during birth so that you can make informed decisions about how best to proceed, where there is time to do this safely. Sometimes birth contains really urgent surprises and, when this happens, it can be really helpful to have someone you know well, and trust like me, reassure you that any immediate actions recommended by hospital staff are in your or your baby’s best interests.
“Some births, in some circumstances, sometimes need some help!”
Mary Cronk MBE
Normally two postnatal visits are offered as part of the Birth Friend package to debrief the birth itself and to ensure the mother, father and baby are happy and well after the birth. Signposts to sources of support can be given where needed.
You may value going through your Maternity Notes from previous birth to explore events as they are recorded and how this related to your experiences at the time and since. You can request a copy of your Notes from the previous care provider. There is usually a charge for this service and obtaining your copy can take several weeks. Find out more here.
Many couples like to explore a variety of birth issues such as
- where you to plan to give birth
- who to seek out to provide your maternity care and how to arrange this
- what strategies you would like to use to work with the powerful labour birth energy
- practical preparations for birth that may be useful
- thinking about your hopes and concerns
- what if birth is different to what you had expected and planned for
Together we can explore and document your birth hopes and preferences. I can assist you in seeking support for your preferences from your care provider.
Birth Work for Partners – Love, Touch and Mobility
This session covers:
- The role of love and birth hormones in helping birth proceed normally are discussed.
- A variety of massage and touch techniques used by to partners which can help women deal with the sensations of labour. Practise and feedback from the mother helps partners feel confident to offer these in labour.
- Why mobility in labour matters and how partners can help women use upright postures and mobility in labour are explained and practised.
These activities help partners to know how to be close to the birthing mother during labour and birth and take an active role in the birth room.
Rebozo Techniques for Pregnancy and Birth
This session explores the use of the Rebozo (or Mexican shawl) to increase comfort in pregnancy and to assist baby positioning and normal progress in labour. Couples are shown how to use the Rebozo. A Rebozo can be borrowed for use during birth.
Preparing to Breastfeed
This session covers:
- The physical and emotional benefits of breastfeeding for mother and for baby.
- Optimal cord clamping and why lots of lovely skin to skin cuddles (for both parents) is such a great idea. How having a Golden Hour after birth can make the start of breastfeeding simple and instinctive.
- What breastfeeding feels like and gaining confidence in recognising effective feeding.
- Realistic expectations around normal breastfeeding babies’ feeding behaviour.
- Helping you know when to seek help, and where from, if problems arise.
- Where to find breastfeeding support services local to you.
Various resources are available for you as follow up to this session.
Postnatal (Babymoon) Support
Babymoon support visits are offered after the birth in hospital and at home, to help the family adapt to their new life. These aim to:
- Offer help with breastfeeding, and basic baby care such as soothing baby, dressing baby, eye and cord care, and nappy changing.
- Help parents recognise a healthy well baby, and when to contact your midwife or doctor if concerns arise.
- Help the mother be confident that her recovery is on track both physically and emotionally and help her understand when to seek further medical help.
- Give the mother and father support as they adapt to their new exciting but demanding roles.
Babymoon support care packages can be tailored to your needs. Please contact me to discuss. Many women value a visit every day just after the birth, especially with their first baby. Others feel more confident and need less.
These visits will normally be done during office hours. Other times are sometimes possible for an additional fee. They can be at an hourly rate or as part of an agreed package.
Mother Blessing Ceremonies
A Mother Blessing is a special ceremony designed to acknowledge, honour, and celebrate a woman’s journey into motherhood. Please see more information here.
Closing the Bones Ceremonies
A postnatal ceremony offered by Oxfordshire Midwifery Practice: Sarah Ifill. Meg Miskin, Liz Nightingale