Your midwife will monitor the progress of your pregnancy and the growth of your baby in the antenatal clinic. She identifies any issues that may require referral to another member of the multidisciplinary team. She will address your concerns and provide information to assist you and your family throughout your pregnancy.
There are many things you can do in your pregnancy to remain healthy. During your first booking visit at KEMH, your midwife will talk to you about:
During pregnancy hormonal changes can make you feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster. If at any time you feel that the pregnancy is causing unwanted feelings and emotional distress, talk to one of the midwives in the antenatal clinic. They will listen to your concerns and discuss the community and hospital resources available to you.
Continuing to work is a decision for you and your family and is based on your own individual needs and wellbeing. Remember to make time for healthy meals, exercise and relaxation.
Please see the Pregnancy Care at KEMH pamphlet.
Vaginal birth after a previous Caesarean section (commonly referred to as VBAC) is the recommended option for most women. It is important for you to discuss this with your midwife and/or obstetrician when you book into the hospital. Ask them for the VBAC pamphlet to read.
Preparing for labour and birth is not always easy. It’s important to give some thought to your expectations and ensure you discuss these openly with your midwife. Researching and/or writing a birth plan is one way to ensure you have an opportunity to talk through the issues that are important to you and your family. For example, some things you may like to consider:
The Parent Education Department holds Preparation for Childbirth Classes for women and their support people who choose to birth at KEMH.
|Occipito-anterior position||Occipito-posterior position|
During the late stages of pregnancy the majority of babies lie with their head down and their back pointing out or to the front of your belly. This is called the occipito-anterior (OA) position. This is considered to be the optimal position for the baby to be in when labour starts.
Sometimes, babies lie with their head down but looking towards the front (their back is on your back). This is called the occipito-posterior (OP) position. If a baby is in this position at the start of labour women may complain of backache and/or feeling their contractions ‘in their backs’. Labour can be longer when the baby is in this position.
‘Optimal fetal positioning’ is a theory that is based on the belief a pregnant woman, through positioning and movements of her own body, can help move her baby into the right position before labour commences.
The baby’s back is the heaviest part of its body, and this willl naturally move towards your back if you maintain a slouched position.
Avoid positions such as leaning back in armchairs, sitting in car seats where you are leaning back, or any position where your knees are higher than your pelvis. Try instead to spend time sitting upright, leaning on your hands and knees and keeping your knees lower than your pelvis. 2-3
There are additional suggestions that encourage occipito-anterior babies on the homebirth website.Management of Prolonged Pregnancy.
A breech baby is one that has it’s bottom and/or legs in your pelvis rather than it’s head. This occurs in 3-5% of single baby births. There are three main types of breech presentations:
There is no direct cause for breech presentations but the following may increase the likelihood:
Current obstetric practice recommends a Caesarean section for babies in the breech position at term. Best evidence suggests that women with a healthy breech baby and no underlying reason for the breech presentation should be offered a procedure to turn the baby. This procedure is known as External Cephalic Version (ECV).
In simple terms ECV is the gentle but firm external movement of the baby to a head down position.
The chance of sucessfully turning your baby varies widely from 35-86%. Information will be given to you if an ECV is going to be performed.
There are exercises you can do which may be helpful in turning your baby. Discuss these with your midwife.
Talk to your midwife and obstetrician about the advantages and disadvantages of vaginal breech delivery.