Different Types of Birth

We know that for most mothers and babies a vaginal birth is optimal. The process of the baby descending into your pelvis and being born through the birth canal can prepare a baby for life outside of the womb. We encourage early skin to skin contact which is known to promote bonding, regulate your baby’s heart rate and temperature and can encourage successful infant feeding.
We hope this general information will be helpful but please talk to your midwife or obstetrician about your individual needs, recommendations and preferences

We know that for most mothers and babies a vaginal birth is optimal. The process of the baby descending into your pelvis and being born through the birth canal can prepare a baby for life outside of the womb. We encourage early skin to skin contact which is known to promote bonding, regulate your baby’s heart rate and temperature and can encourage successful infant feeding.

There are lots of ways to optimise a vaginal birth including considering the birth environment that feels right for you, having a supportive birth partner, keeping mobile, staying hydrated, adopting upright positions, and much more.

When women give birth on TV or in films, they tend to spend their labour lying back on a hospital bed. But most women will move around a lot during labour and will change position as their labour progresses and the baby changes position. It is important to listen to your body.

Moving around, staying upright and changing position can:

  • ease the pain
  • help you cope
  • make you feel in control of your labour
  • increase your chances of a shorter labour help the baby navigate through your pelvis help you find the best position for giving birth.

There are lots of positions you can try. Do whatever feels right for you and remember that your midwife and birth partner are there to help and encourage you.

You could try:

  • sitting, leaning on a table
  • straddling a chair or toilet, facing backwards standing, leaning on a bed, table or against your birth partner standing, leaning on a birth ball that’s sitting on a bed kneeling on the floor, cradling a birth ball kneeling on all fours (this can help if you’ve had lots of backache) kneeling over the back of the bed or against your birth partner rocking back and forth on, sit, on gently bounce on a birth ball.
  • Try to walk around too, if you can. If you get tired or your contractions get stronger, you can try to keep moving by shifting your weight from one foot to the other, or by rocking your pelvis.

Some of these positions will make it easier for your birth partner to give you a massage or back rub. This will help release endorphins, the body’s feel-good hormones, which can help with the pain. There are lots of other options for pain relief during labour too.

Remember to rest when you need to and don't worry about what you look like. The midwives have seen it all before, so do what feels good for you.

We hope this general information will be helpful but please talk to your midwife or obstetrician about your individual needs, recommendations and preferences.

If you are offered a planned caesarean section, please watch the ‘birth choices video’ to decide what is right for you and your baby at the right time. (add link to ABUHB video) https://www.facebook.com/ABUHBMaternityServices/videos/304392930728609/

 

You may also find these Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) leaflets helpful. 

 

https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/patients/patient-leaflets/choosing-to-have-a-caesarean-section/

 

https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/patients/patient-leaflets/birth-after-previous-caesarean/

 

https://www.rcog.org.uk/en/guidelines-research-services/guidelines/caesarean-section-nice-clinical-guideline-132/

 

If you have decided to have a planned caesarean, you will be given a pre-op appointment the day before your planned surgery. This will be on C3 at the Grange University Hospital. We need to ask you to attend this appointment alone due to covid restrictions.

We ask that you and your partner self-isolate for 2 weeks prior to your planned surgery. (More information can be found on the Public Health Wales website)

 

https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-carers/guidance-for-carers-accordion/self-isolation-advice/

 

You will be telephoned and offered a covid test a few days before your surgery. Please call the covid booking office if you haven’t received your appointment. Your partner does not need to have a covid test.

 

At your pre op appointment you will be asked to sign consent forms, asked for blood samples to be taken, see the anaesthetist to talk about your anaesthetic options, have some observations done and the opportunity to discuss your birth plan, and any concerns. Some women will need electronic fetal monitoring ( a CTG) so your appointment may take a bit longer (this will depend on your reasons for caesarean). You will be advised of the time to attend the following day and advised to be ‘nil by mouth’ from midnight (the night before your operation). You will be asked to drink a still isotonic drink at 6am on the day of your operation (non fizzy lucozade or similar).

 

Please be aware that sometimes we will need to postpone planned caesareans due to emergencies. We know this can be upsetting at a stressful time but if we need to do this you will be given a full explanation and it will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

 

On the morning of your operation your partner can come with you. You will be asked to come to ward C3 at the Grange (the time will be discussed at your pre op). Although your partner can stay with you, we do need to ask that you both wear masks and stay in the room at all times. (The rooms are en-suite with free WiFi)

 

When it is time for your operation, you and your partner will go together to the main theatres. Your operation will be performed by a senior obstetrician and you will have a midwife and team present.  Please see the video mentioned above about what to expect and why (for example having a catheter and intravenous fluids, the type of anaesthetic and more).

 

We encourage skin to skin contact for all women and babies.

Most women go home the next day, although you may be advised to stay longer if you or the baby need additional observation or support.

Our staff will support you with caring for your baby. Please just ask your midwife or obstetrician if you have further questions. We really want you to have a very positive experience.

Improving the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of expectant mothers, infants, children and young people throughout Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Area.

(N.B: The Family and Therapies team at ABUHB is NOT responsible for the content on the webpage links that we refer to in our resource sections and linked information to external sites. All information was accurate and appropriate at the time the webpage was created.)

Accessibility tools