The Naughtiest Little Piglet

Once upon a time there was a little bean who lived in her Mummy’s tummy, she was called Piglet.

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Piglet liked to make her Mummy very very sick, so sick that her Mummy (who worked on a busy labour ward) had to dash into the bathroom in between coordinating the shift to be sick. Poor old Mummy. But then the Mummy started to feel better, her blue eyes sparkled again and she blossomed as her bump grew.

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Piglet was very wriggly and loved moving about in her new warm, dark, cosy bed. She wriggled and wriggled until she got into a comfortable position, her bottom firmly down and her little head bobbing up. But that position was not want her Mummy or her Mummy’s midwives really were hoping for. So one day a very clever doctor with his very clever hands turned Piglet the other way around, bottoms up! And there she stayed. But Piglet had still not finished being naughty. Oh no, she decided that growing wasn’t something she was too keen on and wanted to stay little.

Naughty little Piglet had everyone worried. Her Mummy and Daddy were very worried, the doctors with the big scanning machines were worried and even the midwives were worried. So D day came and the naughty little Piglet had to leave her warm, dark, cosy bed. Her Mummy went to the hospital and had some magic medicine to make little Piglet come out.

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Luckily for her Mummy and Daddy Piglet’s arrival was very quick, her midwives just only got there in time! And the naughty little Piglet was born on the 28th of May at 14:51 weighing a tiny 5lbs 4onz. They named her Charlotte Elizabeth and she was beautiful just her Mummy!

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And Charlotte and her Mummy and Daddy lived happily ever after.

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1 in 5

russian dolls

Here are some hilarious and quite worrying statistics taken from a US poll published in the Huffington Post this week.

1 in 5 people believe witches are real

1 in 5 people do not use the internet

1 in 5 people urinate in the pool

1 in 5 people can’t identify the US on a map

Pretty funny really, but what about that 1 in 5 pregnancies end in a miscarriage before 12 weeks? Not really so funny. I have never been so unfortunate to have had a miscarriage. When I was pregnant with my second baby, I spotted from 5 weeks up until 10 weeks. It was really horrible, some days it was just a small amount of brown spotting but some days it was fresh blood. My husband and I had to just carry on, I went to work with the knowledge that I could indeed be miscarrying the pregnancy but there wan’t much I could do. I did have the benefit of being able to pop into the Early Pregnancy Clinic where a Consultant scanned me every week. But even this didn’t put my mind at rest, I saw a tiny flicker of a heart beat and the small baked bean growing but the bleeding continued. Finally by my 12 week scan everything looked normal and I could just about relax (despite throwing up every evening.)

As a case loading midwife, I book all my women at home before they reach their 12th week of pregnancy (ideally by 10) following the NICE guidelines and ensuring they receive the correct information surrounding antenatal screening.  I love this first meeting with my women, hopefully meeting their partner and children if this isn’t their first baby, building the relationship that will continue throughout the pregnancy and postnatal period.  We have a cup of tea and chat through the necessities whilst also getting to know each other. Their 12 week scan is booked and I leave saying ‘good luck with the scan, let me know if there any problems’, and plan to see them by 18 weeks.

Last week I received a text from one of my women, her scan hadn’t gone well and the sonographer told them the devastating news that she had had a ‘missed miscarriage’.

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A missed miscarriage or a silent miscarriage is when the embryo stops developing but the pregnancy can still continue. Or it may be that an embryo started to grow, but failed to progress. It’s called a missed miscarriage because you won’t realise that anything has gone wrong. You may not have had any of the usual signs of miscarriage, such as pain or bleeding. Your body may still be giving you signals that you are pregnant, though if your hormone levels are falling, those signs may lessen slightly. Your breasts may feel less tender, or you may find your pregnancy sickness has stopped sooner than expected.

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I felt really shocked and saddened for my woman and her partner. Even though I had just met them a few weeks before, I felt like we had been friends for a long time I was really looking forward to being their midwife.  I offered my love and support but they felt that they would cope together in their own way and would contact me if they became pregnant again. Before becoming a case loading midwife I underestimated the ‘1 in 5’ statistic. When I worked on labour ward all I would know about their history was a small printed column in their pregnancy notes saying ‘miscarriage’. It was never really appropriate to mention it especially as they would be in labour and I didn’t always think it was relevant to this pregnancy.

A have a few friends who have had miscarriages but gone on to have healthy pregnancies. Who knows if my friends ever think about the tiny little beans that didn’t develop or make it for one reason or another. All I know is I will never take those booking appointments for granted and hope I get to see my women all the way through their pregnancies and meet their perfect baby.

For more information and support on miscarriage please visit The Miscarriage Association’s website

www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk

Home Delivery

Girl Thursday

Girl Thursday

Excuse my slight europhic tone in this post, but I am on a bit of a high, a natural one before any of you call Social Services!

Yesterday I was doing what I love most, supporting a woman in labour and helping her achieve the birth she wanted, a beautiful water birth at home. It was also extra special as she is a friend of mine and our fairly new friendship has now bonded us so tightly since I became her midwife. This was her second baby and second home birth and I am so privileged to work in a small team of NHS midwives who can support and facilitate this type of care to a group of women of South East London. We provide one-to-one care for these women, throughout their pregnancy, birth and postnatal period. Did you know that you are entitled to 28 days of midwifery care once you have had your baby? How many of you can honestly say you saw your midwife past day 14? I discharged a woman of mine who was day 23 last week. Why? Because she really needed all that extra breastfeeding help having struggled so much at the beginning. I know she would have given up feeding if she didn’t have the right support but she is now a confident breastfeeding Mama! And I’m so proud that I was part of all of that.

It seems something was in the waters (!) yesterday as ITV showed the documentary ‘Home Delivery‘ following independent midwife Virginia Howes as she assisted with the births of three babies, all of them in the home. Having spent the day at a home birth you would have thought I would be ‘all birthed out’ but this documentary fascinated me. Not only did it finally put an end to all the highly charged, dramatic, medicalised births shown on Channel 4’s One Born Every Minute, it showed viewers how birth should be; evidence based, women centred and well supported by a midwife the women know. Mr Cameron’s infamous ‘Gold Standard Care’.

Now of course choosing an independent midwife comes at as cost, a hefty one at around £2750 which is more than most peoples monthly salary. But women are choosing to pay this as case loading midwifery isn’t available in all areas on the UK. And some midwives are choosing to become independent midwives due to the frustrations in the UK’s midwifery services to women, and the choices they have.

I feel very privileged to be working in a way I truly believe in, to care for women the way they deserve (even when the pager goes off at 3am) and I support all midwives, NHS employed and independent. Lets hope programmes like Home Delivery might make people wonder why more women don’t give birth at home.

Don’t forget to check out the fabulous work the people at The Birth I Want are doing to campaign for one-to-one midwifery care for all women.