For you 2017-05-26T16:29:07+00:00

For you

Life with your newborn baby can be very different to what you’d anticipated.

This can be particularly so, where this relates to your baby’s temperament and excessive crying. As a new parent, it is very natural for you to put aside your own needs, but it is important that you look after your physical, emotional and psychological health too. Mood changes during pregnancy and following the baby’s birth can affect both mums and dads, so if you feel low or are concerned that you are struggling to adjust to parenthood, it is important that you tell your midwife or doctor.

Top information for you…

Dads and depression: Paternal PND

Caring for your bladder after childbirth

Recovering from your Caesarean birth

Safeguarding against infection

Mood changes after childbirth

Sex after childbirth

Healthy eating for you and your baby

Blood loss after your baby’s birth

Motherhood at 40 plus

From partners to parents

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‘Dural Tap’ – A headache following an epidural

‘Dural Tap’ – A headache following an epidural Many women choose to have an epidural – also called regional anaesthesia for pain relief during labour and birth. Most have no problems at all with their epidural and once the numbness has worn off and sensation returns; they soon return to their normal level of activity. For more detailed information also see our article, ‘Pain relief options for labour and birth’. However, in a much smaller proportion of women (between 0 and 2.6%), having an epidural sited (inserted) can inadvertently [...]

Dads and depression: Paternal PND

Dads and depression: Paternal PND The transition to parenthood can be a very challenging time for many new parents, as they learn to cope with the around-the-clock care needs of their newborn and the associated sleep deprivation and upheaval to established routines. At this time, the mother and baby are often the prime focus of attention and the emotional health and wellbeing of new fathers can easily be overlooked. New mums have many opportunities to talk through their feelings with their midwife, health visitor and/or GP. Routine screening for [...]

Severe perineal trauma: Third and Fourth degree tears

Severe perineal trauma: Third and Fourth degree tears   Sustaining perineal trauma during childbirth is very common, particularly where it is your first vaginal birth. The perineum is the area of skin between the vagina (birth canal) and anus (back passage). During a vaginal birth this area stretches to accommodate the passage of the baby and can often tear to varying degrees. If you have an assisted birth with forceps and/or your baby develops fetal distress, you may need an episiotomy. This is a cut in the perineum to [...]

Caring for your bladder after childbirth

Caring for your bladder after childbirth Introduction Following the birth of your baby, you may well feel that the area around your birth canal (vagina) no longer feels as if it ‘belongs to you’. Everything can feel swollen, tender and bruised and sometimes, even a little bit numb. Childbirth places pressure on your bladder and pelvic floor and perineal tear(s), particularly where these are close to the urethra (the opening where the urine comes out), or an episiotomy can leave everything feeling uncomfortable and sore. Newly delivered mothers often [...]

Postnatal Exercises

Postnatal Exercises Having a baby changes a woman’s body. Your body has carried and nurtured your growing baby for the past nine months and so it is to be expected that returning to its pre-pregnancy state won’t happen overnight. Similarly, getting back into shape after the birth takes time and effort, which can be quite tricky when you are also providing around-the-clock care for your newborn. However, it is an important investment in your time and will be well worth the effort. This article provides some helpful advice and [...]

Recovering from your Caesarean birth

Recovering from your Caesarean birth   For various reasons, the numbers of women giving birth by Caesarean section (also called ‘operative birth’) has increased markedly over the past twenty years. The UK caesarean section rate has increased from 12% in 1990 to 25% in 2010-2011. While Caesarean birth is now a very common occurrence in UK maternity services, it is important to remember that having a Caesarean section is a major operation. To put it in context, if you were in hospital having had your appendix removed, you would [...]

Support for parents: how supervisors of midwives can help

Support for parents: how supervisors of midwives can help   Who are Supervisors of midwives? Supervisors of midwives (SOMs) are experienced, practising midwives who have completed additional education and training so that they can oversee and support midwives in providing safe, high quality care to new and expectant parents, their babies and families.   What is their role? Every midwife has a named SOM - this includes midwives who are working in NHS maternity units and Birth Centres, in private maternity units, or are working as self-employed (Independent) midwives. [...]

Safeguarding against postnatal sepsis (infection)

Safeguarding against postnatal sepsis (infection)   What is postpartum sepsis (infection)? While you were pregnant your body’s natural immunity (which fights off infections) was suppressed, so that your body didn’t treat your developing baby as a foreign body/infection that needed to be attacked. This process is called immunosuppression which can mean that after giving birth, you remain more vulnerable to developing an infection and mild infections can become more serious (severe sepsis) a lot quicker. Postnatal infection (also called postpartum infection) isn’t that common; however, as a new mum [...]

Hydration – are you drinking enough?

Hydration - are you drinking enough?   Health studies have shown how important drinking sufficient water and being adequately hydrated is to our general health and wellbeing, and how we function each day. Ensuring that you drink adequately is particularly important for new mothers in promoting healing and recovering from your labour and birth. Where you have chosen to breastfeed, good hydration also helps support your body’s production of breast milk (lactation). Health advice recommends that we drink at least eight glasses of water each day. Doing this has [...]

Mood changes after childbirth

Mood changes after childbirth   Introduction You might be reading this article for a variety of reasons. You might be worried that you will get depression now that your baby is born, or you might be experiencing these feelings already. It is probably a good idea to acknowledge that in our society and in many others worldwide, ‘problems with your mind’ are not accepted as an illness as much as are, for example, a broken limb or heart or renal (kidney) disease. Among the positive and sometimes overwhelming feelings [...]

Sex after childbirth

Resuming your love life Preparing for the arrival of your new baby is a busy time, but it gets even busier once your baby has arrived! Given the need to physically recover from pregnancy and the birth, ‘round the clock’ baby care and the associated sleepless nights, it’s not surprising that sex is often the very last thing on many new parents’ minds. When couples choose to resume sexual intercourse is a very individual decision; studies have shown that there doesn’t seem to be much difference whether your baby [...]

Sexual Health & Contraception

Sexual Health & Contraception   Now that you have given birth; it could be that sex is the very last thing on your mind. At this time, a lot of couples will find other ways of expressing their feelings for each other through kissing, cuddling and caressing. Many couples resume sexual intercourse around seven or eight weeks following their baby’s birth. However, the demands of a newborn baby and sleepless nights, can delay intercourse for several months. This is quite normal and it is important that you and your [...]

Life as a new mum

Life as a new mum   Becoming a mother is arguably the most major life-changing event in a woman’s life; few events are so irreversible and complete. The early weeks and months of parenthood are usually an exciting, happy, and rewarding time, as you and your partner get to know your new baby. However, this period can also be a time of letting go as you say goodbye to perhaps formerly more carefree and spontaneous lifestyles, which were free of responsibilities, for another tiny person. Understandably, this time can [...]

Healthy eating for you and your baby

Healthy eating for you and your baby   Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of a healthy life style and is every bit as important now that you’ve given birth as it was during your pregnancy. Now that you’ve had your baby, you need to help your body to heal and recover from that process whether you are breastfeeding or not. The early days and weeks after your baby’s birth are recognised as being extremely tiring for most new mums as you adjust to the demands [...]

Coping with perineal pain and discomfort following childbirth

Coping with perineal pain and discomfort following childbirth Is it normal to feel like this? Having a baby is rather like running a marathon… joy and elation at crossing the finishing line… culminating in the safe arrival of your gorgeous new baby as well as, feelings of utter physical and emotional exhaustion including aches and pains in places you’d never believed possible! In the hours immediately following the birth, everything ‘down there’ can feel very different. This is perfectly normal because your muscles and soft tissues have had to [...]

The early weeks of parenthood: coping with sleep deprivation

The early weeks of parenthood: coping with sleep deprivation   Newborn babies and sleepless nights tend to go ‘hand-in-hand’ with each other and whilst many mums and dads are prepared for the ’round-the-clock’ care needs of their new baby – many will still say that they were totally unprepared for the levels of exhaustion this incurs. Here we offer you some handy tips to help you combat the effects of sleep deprivation during the early days and weeks following your baby’s birth: Grab the opportunity to catch up on [...]

Coping with ‘After Pains’

Coping with ‘After Pains’ What are after pains? ‘After pains’ are contractions of the uterus (womb) following your baby’s birth; they are perfectly normal and there is no reason to feel concerned. In fact, after pains are a positive sign; initially immediately after birth these contractions ensure the small blood vessels that once lead to you placenta (afterbirth) are sealed to prevent an excessive amount of blood being lost from your womb (postpartum haemorrhage). Secondly, they indicate that your body is returning to its pre-pregnant state; this involves your [...]

Caring for yourself and feeling well after you have had your baby

Caring for yourself and feeling well after you have had your baby   Women vary a lot in how they recover physically and psychologically from their pregnancy and the experience of giving birth to their baby. You may feel that your body has got back to ‘normal’ within a few weeks of having your baby, but it can take much longer to adjust to the emotional changes of being a mother, especially where this is for the first time. Some women find that the physical symptoms they experience after [...]

Blood loss after your baby’s birth

Blood loss after your baby’s birth   Now that you have had your baby, your body will begin the process of recovering and healing from the experience of pregnancy and childbirth. Just as your body changed during pregnancy to meet the needs of your developing baby, it will now begin to return to its non-pregnant state. An important aspect of this process includes the uterus (womb) contracting down and reducing in size until it sits inside your pelvis again and cannot be felt abdominally. This process is called ‘involution’ [...]

Anaemia after childbirth

Anaemia after childbirth What is anaemia? Anaemia is a condition where the amount of iron (ie haemoglobin) present in your body’s red blood cells is lower than it should be. Where these iron levels drop below their normal levels, this is called iron-deficiency and it is the most common cause of anaemia in the UK. Your blood is made up of a fluid called ‘plasma’ which contains proteins in the form of red blood cells and white blood cells, as well as other cells that have a range of [...]

‘Grandmothering’

‘Grandmothering’ “It's such a grand thing to be a mother of a mother - that's why the world calls her grandmother”. Author Unknown Whether or not this is your first baby, your mother and your partner’s mother will no doubt be very proud and excited at the safe arrival of their grandchild! Grandmothers are usually generous in bringing gifts for the new baby as well as, offering you their advice from their own experiences. Whether this input is welcomed or appropriate can, however, be an entirely different matter. “Becoming [...]

Enjoy your babymoon!

Enjoy your babymoon!   From the information often presented in magazines and the media it would seem that there is often an emphasis, even obligation, on women to get back to their pre-pregnancy routines as soon as possible after childbirth. Yet in the early weeks of motherhood, most new mums are likely to need the same amount of emotional and physical support as they did during pregnancy and birth. While it is better for your overall health to be up and about as you are able, the emphasis placed [...]

Motherhood at 40 plus

Motherhood at 40 plus   Having your first baby and becoming a mother in your 40s has become an increasingly popular choice for many women in the UK. More and more women and their partners are now taking the active decision to delay their fertility and starting a family, instead choosing to pursue successful careers, achieve financial security, and settle into stable relationships before embarking on pregnancy and motherhood. Whereas, back in the 1970s and 80s women often had their first baby while in their mid-20s, recent figures released [...]

Handy hints for Dads

Handy hints for Dads   The early days, weeks and months of parenthood are often incredibly fulfilling and joyous times, but can be equally exhausting and challenging as new parents get to know their newborn baby and its care needs, start to lay down new routines, and learn to cope with the many sleepless nights. At this time, attention frequently focuses on the needs of the new mother and her baby, which can often leave new dads feeling totally overlooked and excluded. Research shows however, that fathers’ have a [...]

Yummy Mummies!

Yummy Mummies! No matter how much you’ve anticipated the sleep deprivation and fatigue following your baby’s birth, the level of exhaustion that most new parents feel can still take them by surprise. With the care needs of your newborn baby occupying your days and nights, it’s not surprising that many new parents have precious little time to consider their own needs. The physical and emotional transition to parenthood can bring mixed feelings too – the elation of being a new mum, as well as the transition in moving from [...]

Back home with your newborn: what can you expect?

Back home with your newborn: what can you expect?   If you have given birth in hospital, taking your new baby home for the first time is very exciting. It can however, also feel a little daunting, as you begin to realise that you won’t be able to ring the call bell for ‘on hand’ assistance from the maternity ward staff. The midwives and maternity/health care assistants caring for you and your new baby will however, make sure that you are ready to go home, so you shouldn’t feel [...]

From partners to parents

From partners to parents   Embarking on parenthood is a significant life-changing event, which despite a couple’s best efforts to plan and prepare for can still come as a huge shock. Having in most cases spent nine months getting ready for your baby, it is not uncommon to find that life with your newborn is wrought with changes and adjustments to well-established and familiar routines. All of a sudden there is a small and often vocal ‘little person’ in your lives whose care needs fill both your days and [...]