• 04 February 2020
  • 17 min read

Pregnant mums - here's 10 things your midwife wants you to know!

  • Louisa Lewis
    Student Midiwfe

Here are the top 10 tips pregnant mothers might like to know - they are the things to keep in mind during your pregnancy.

Play video: Louisa explains what she thinks your midwife will want you to know

Topics covered in this video

0.00 Introduction

1. (1.13) No question about your pregnancy is a stupid question

2. (1.44) Don't hesitate to get in touch

3. (2.38) Know that every pregnancy is different

4. (4.13) Be aware of the pattern of movements around 24 weeks

5. (5.03) Your birth plan

6. (7.17) Waters broken? Unsure. Put a pad on and come see us!

7. (9.02) Contractions - the general, perceived guide

8. (10.57) Labour - your own little world, don't apologise for it

9. (12.20) Research birthing positions

10. (14.47) Poo. There it is. Forget about it.

0.00 Introduction

So today's video is going to be 10 things your midwife wants you to know. Now this is sort of a fun little video because I [inaudible 00:00:25] midwife gesture. I have about seven months until I qualify.

So take it how you want, but I've been on the job for two years training, learning some new tips and tricks and growing in knowledge and understanding, learning things, but also seeing midwives work how I would love to work and see midwives work hard like, I'm not too sure.

But yeah, so I'm not going to say take what I say is Gospel.

Obviously do your own research and also listen to what your midwife says and what your obstetrician says if you're under consultant care.

This is just another perspective to have.

I actually have them written down in my notebook. So if I look down or you see it in the shot, that's what's happening. I'm just reading them off my notebook because I wrote them before church yesterday.

1. (1.13) No question about your pregnancy is a stupid question

Number one, no question is a stupid question. Ask away. It's better to be safe than sorry or you say... and it's good that you should be educated and empowered about your body, your pregnancy, your labor and birth, your postpartum period.

You should just be knowledgeable about it all. So ask as many questions as you want. Even if this is your second or third baby, still ask questions if you can't remember like, "Oh, my gosh, it's been so long. I don't know what's going on." Ask questions please.

2. (1.44) Don't hesitate to get in touch

So this leads into thing number two, do not hesitate to call us. Your midwife is there to be with you, to help you and to reassure you.

So don't be afraid to call her. So don't be afraid to call us. I feel like it's such an English thing to do.

I've had so many women or men be like, "We just don't want to bug you." Or like, "Oh, I still don't want to be a nuisance." And it's like, what? It's our job.

This is what we're here to do.

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Yeah, we may be busy at times, but we will make it a point to answer the phone to see what's going on, or if you leave a message to call you back, it's our job.

We are being paid to do this, but also we want to do this.

So please call us. Especially if you're worried about something, call your local maternity unit because it's better to be safe than sorry.

Okay? My mum always came up with that and I was like, okay. But yeah.

3. (2.38) Know that every pregnancy is different

Thing number three, every pregnancy is different. Just like every baby is different, every pregnancy is different.

So just because something happened in your last pregnancy, it's not a definite that it's going to happen in this pregnancy.

So try not to worry about it. I'm a person, I never thought I would be this person, but I'm a person who's like, I don't like bad energies. Just like stresses and like, mm-mm (negative), I don't like it.

If you have a worry and I say I meet you and I feel like there's something weighing you down, I will ask you obviously in a nice way. And if we're that kind of close, "Have you got any worries? Is there anything that you're thinking about?"

Because I want to get to the bottom of it and I want you to kind of hash it out so that it's not weighing on you throughout the whole entire time we're together or the whole entire time of your pregnancy or whenever I did meet you, because I feel like when you have those negative things in your mind that you're constantly thinking out, I am a person, I've always, I mean always from the moment I learnt what this word was, I have always been a person who believes in self-fulfilling prophecies.

I'm just that person.

So I feel like when you are always constantly thinking like, "Oh, something bad is going to happen," or this is going to happen, or, "Oh, I don't want this to happen, but, oh, it's probably going to happen."

No, don't please. Because it probably will happen if you keep on thinking about it.

But anyway, so just because something happened in your labor and birth, doesn't mean it's going to happen.

And if, say, your last baby couldn't breastfeed doesn't mean this baby's going to have trouble breastfeeding.

This is different. It's a whole different situation.

You've got to go in with a positive mindset. Sorry, if I went off on a tangent about the positive energy thing but anyway.

4. (4.13) Be aware of the pattern of movements around 24 weeks

So thing number four is from around 24 weeks, give or take a couple of weeks, babies should be getting into a pattern of movements.

Obviously you might feel baby from way before 24 weeks. And it's really, really important that you're aware of it, I should say.

I'm not going to say keep track, but that you're aware of when baby likes to move.

Say it's baby loves to move loads at night when you're trying to go to bed or baby moves loads in the morning right before work or on your lunch break or baby moves more once you've eaten.

Little things like that. Just be aware of when baby likes to move generally because it's something that if they baby hasn't moved at all within a 24-hour period, and especially if it's gone past the time of day when that's when baby loves to move, that is why you should definitely call up, go in and see what's going on.

And I say call up because, again, every maternity unit is different.

So I don't know if you need to go straight to their triad or if your community midwife can see or if they say go straight to labor and delivery or if they tell you to go to DAU, which is their assessment unit or fetal medicine.

I don't know, every unit is different. It's different in my new trust, so every unit is different. So call your midwife, see what she says, where to go. Then go there and get baby checked on. It's no worry.

Again, it's better to be safe than sorry. My motto. That is literally my motto!

Again, call up, come in, get it checked out if you haven't felt baby move within a 24 hour period and you've had some downtime to try and really focus it and you still haven't felt baby move, definitely come in. Especially if you're worried.

5. (5.03) Your birth plan

Number five, birth plans. It's loaded topic I feel like. It shouldn't be but it is.

I actually enjoy reading the birth plan. Not going to lie to you.

I will search one out in a woman's notes if I have to. I just want to know what you are expecting.

I want to know what your expectations are. I like to go to birth plan.

Not everyone does. It is a big talked about topic.

I think my only advice about birth plans is make sure your partner, whoever your birthing partner is, knows your birth plan off by heart.

Drill it to them, tell them all the scenarios that might happen and what you would want in that scenario so that they can be an advocate.

Because when you're in labor and you don't have an epidural and you're in labor, then you're going to be in your own little world.

So your birthing partner is going to be your advocate. So make sure that they know it.

That's what I would say and try and be flexible in certain things. I say that only because not all the time you get what you want and so to save you a lot of disappointment, it's kind of good to prepare to know, "This is what I want, but I understand if it doesn't happen."

That's kind of a good mindset to be in so that you don't get too traumatized or upset that you didn't get the birthing experience that you wanted.

Only thing I'm going to put out there. But I do enjoy a good birth plan.

But yeah, take it how you want to take it.

6. (7.17) Waters broken? Unsure. Put a pad on and come see us!

Number six. Now this one is sort of my pro tip.

If you think your waters have gone, so say you feel like a constant trickle or a big gush but you don't know if you wet yourself or not, put on a pad.

Put on a thick maternity pad or if you just have a thin pad, put on a pad.

Put on a pad so that it can absorb whatever leakage is there and then call us up, come in, let's see what's going on.

Let's see if there's any contractions that are happening.

If your contraction's happening, I shall tell you what to do about contractions next.

But just see what's going on for a bit. Maybe have it on for an hour or so.

It depends though. If you notice that it's really smelly or it's a strange kind of color, call up, go straight in.

But if it just looks like clear fluids, you don't know what's going on, maybe have the pad on for about an hour, then call your local maternity unit.

They'll tell you to go to labor ward or triad or whatever.

Go in so that us as midwives and student midwives, whoever's going to be there to greet you can see your pad and be able to tell you like, "Yeah, this is amniotic fluids or this is pee," and also tells us something really important.

It will tell us what color the amniotic fluid is. Is it kind of pinky bloodstain, which is fine, is it clear, which is great or is it kind of green or brown?

That might indicate meconium, which may say that you might need to be monitored constantly.

So that's kind of a good tool for us to be able to see. Because when we come in and say, "Oh, don't know. I'm not too sure if it has happened or not," then we have to do tests and stuff and it's fine, but it's just kind of easier to be like, "Okay, you think it's gone, let's see your pad. Great, it's gone. Cool."

7. (9.02) Contractions - the general, perceived guide

Thing number seven is contractions, surges, waves. When they stop, keep a track of that.

So kind of just note, I felt my first one this like then and then depending on the frequency of them and if they're regular or not, I would say call in. So if they're irregular they'll be like, "Oh, I felt one the other day, nothing again. Probably Braxton Hicks."

Or it could be like, "Oh, I get one every 15 minutes." Not frequent enough.

Or they're, it can be eight minutes apart to seven minutes apart to 10 minutes apart. They're irregular. Probably your body just starting to work things out.

But once they become more regular and frequent and if it's your first baby, I'm saying, which is what most people say for established labor is three to four contractions within 10 minutes and obviously also your cervix has to dilated like three to four centimeters.

Again, I'm saying three to four because it depends on where you're at. So for you when you're at home, if you have contractions and they're every three to four minutes and they've been that way for maybe about an hour, I would say that's a great time to call up, tell them what's going on, especially if your waters have gone.

Tell them the color of your waters, put a pad on and then come in because that way you should be in established labor hopefully.

And hopefully it's excitement and nervousness and the adrenaline that is produced from those two things, those two emotions.

Hopefully won't cut out the oxytocin too much and so your contractions won't stop hopefully.

Because that's why we say stay at home as long as possible because the moment you come in, that's when your adrenaline is let out for go and it cuts out the oxytocin, which means that your contractions will end up stopping or slowing down.

And so that's why stay at home where you're more comfortable, you're more calmer.

8. (10.57) Labour - your own little world, don't apologise for it

But yeah, thing number eight is that when you're in labor, really just be in labor. Just go into your own little world.

I love walking in when a woman's in her own little world and she doesn't even like...

She will know I'm there, but she won't really know my face until she's given birth. And she's like, "O." It's like the best thing in the world.

But anyway, try and just stay in your own little world. Don't apologize during labor.

You can apologize if you want after your labor if you was like rude or snappy or whatever. But I don't really feel like women are. I'm like, "Dude, you're pushing out a baby. It's okay."

Just stay in your zone because your zone is what's going to help you get that baby out. That is what your body has naturally put you into to help you focus to get that baby out.

So just go there, stay there, be comfortable in that. And it does mean that you're going to lose control a bit, but that's okay. We know that. We're used to it.

You may need to apologize to your partner! But us as midwives, we're used to it.

So just stay there and be okay to lose a little bit of control because it's what's going to happen really.

Unless you get an epidural, then who knows, you might not lose any control. You might only lose a tiny bit of control.

But yeah, so that's number eight, is being in the moment, lose control, it's okay. You're having a kid.

9. (12.20) Research birthing positions

All right, so these last two are my top two, so I don't know why I didn't do them first here.

I'm doing them as the last tip, but we're going to go there.

These last two, I think are so important.

So number nine is birthing positions. There are so many different types of birthing positions.

It's crazy that the majority of people only give birth on their back and I know sometimes you're not really informed of the different birthing positions or you feel like you are not empowered to do them once you're in labor or giving birth. But remember it's your body, it's your labor, it's your delivery, it's going to be your trauma afterwards if something doesn't go right or if something is uncomfortable. Or it's going to be your pain afterwards if a position is really taxing on your hips or whatever. So I feel like you should decide how you want to give birth.

And I know a lot of women who have said, "You always give birth on your back on the bed because that's what TV shows you."

But there's multiple different ways of giving birth. There are positions called upright positions where you are on your knees or your squatting or you're standing or you're doing whatever you're doing.

Or your active birth positions, they are also called where you have a bit more. So you can put your hands and knees on balls or like birthing stools.

So many different types of positions that allow your hips and your pelvis to widen an extra 10%, which is quite a bit when you're pushing a baby's head out.

You want to get as much space as you can to push that baby's head out.

So there's so many different positions and there has been shown in research to provide better comfort and satisfaction to women and also, again, the widening of the pelvis.

So there's all these things but obviously do your research.

You see what's out there, what you like.

You could also give birth in water by the way, just letting you know because baby's been swimming in water for nine months anyway.

Just something to think about.

But yeah, so that is a tip for you, I guess is to do some research into birthing positions as well as birth places because you don't just need to give birth on a labor ward or labor delivery ward.

There's also a home from home birth center or at home. But that's again your choice. You look into it, you look at the research and you decide what's best for you and your family.

10. (14.47) Poo. There it is. Forget about it.

And then number 10. Number 10 is my favorite because it was the one thing I was most scared about, which sounds so weird, but I was like, "I just don't know how I feel."

Number 10 is poo.

Poo, we do it anyway. It's natural.

You've got to empty your bowels.

But I love it when a woman poos, because it means that they're pushing in the right direction.

It means the baby's head is descending, plus your body's making room for that head to descend and it's fine.

It's normal and I will wipe it away hopefully before you realize it, but I will wipe it away, boom. I won't even make a fuss about it. I'd just get some tissue, wipe it, pop it in the bin, done.

Don't talk about it, continue on with what you're doing.

Because you, one, don't want to be informed about it, and two, it is what it is.

It happens all the time.

Okay, it might not happen to you but it might.

And so that's just the thing, that's like...

And I feel like you shouldn't be afraid of it happening to you because I know a lot of women can be afraid of it happening to them and then they don't push as well, which I think gets us into a little bit of a predicament.

Okay?

Because then it's like you're not pushing as well as you need to be to get baby out and the doctors might try to come in, they might try and help you.

And that's even worse than just pooing in front of your partner.

So yeah, but at least to me it would be, but again, that's me. You may be different.

But yeah, so poo.

Poo is natural, poo is good, because it means you're emptying your rectum and your birthing canal is right on top of your rectum, which means then that you are creating space for baby.

Also, going to the toilet beforehand or during or whatever is good too, because you're, again, creating space for baby to come through.

Yeah, it's normal. It's natural and go with it.

But yeah, I hope these 10 things have been interesting and informative and made you think about certain things, and I hope you guys have enjoyed this video. Until next time, keep on being you.

If you liked this video don't forget, subscribe to get weekly updates. Bye y'all.

  • Louisa Lewis
    Student Midiwfe

About the author

  • Louisa Lewis
    Student Midiwfe

I'm a student Midwife studying at Kingston University, partnered with St. Georges in London. Alongside my uni work and placements, I also create vlogs for my channel, Being Louisa, and for Nurses.co.uk.