Preparing for Birth Video

Sue McDonald brings us handy hints and tips to make life easier, such as how to prepare for birth
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Sam Norman: After nine months of pregnancy, most women are more than ready to give birth, not least is their sore backs, swollen ankles and weak bladders; but what are the best ways to prepare for the actual birth. I'd like to welcome to the studio, Sue MacDonald, the Education and Research Manager at the Royal College of Midwives in London to answer some questions on birth preparation. Welcome Sue. Sue MacDonald: Hi! Sam Norman: Now people often do child birth classes these days and what should you look out for in one? Sue MacDonald: Well, you need to find what will suit to you as a person and as a woman and if it's your first baby, your needs are going to be different to if it's your second or third baby, where you might just need a little refresher course to catch up with any changes that have happened in maternity care. So you should checkout with your midwife and your GP, what's available locally. Sam Norman: Would these be offered to you automatically or will you have to sort of research it and ask? Sue MacDonald: They tend to be offered locally and you'll be offered really at your first interview with the midwife and then they vary from one or two classes to a set of six classes. In addition there are other classes put on by different groups, such as the National Childbirth Trust that can be very useful for moms who want more in-depth information and want to go with their partners and that sort of thing. Sam Norman: There are many types of sort of birth that you can choose on there, I mean you can have it as a one-to-one midwife or you can have through some of the options. Sue MacDonald: Okay! Well, the way maternity care is gone in the UK in the last five-ten years, it's being very exciting, certainly for midwives because it's been a change, a ton of huge change, but also for women because they are getting greater choice and they are getting more models that offer one-to-one care, so there is a variety of different models and they are called by variety of different names according to the maternity service you go to. And this can vary from what's called traditional sort of care where you book into the hospital, you have a lot of your care in the hospital with the team of midwives, and you come in labor, you have your baby and then you go home and have care from your community midwife and that's the kind of traditional model. A different model where midwives have a small group of women that they provide care from beginning to end all the way through, and the midwives will often work in a group of four or six to really work on continuity for the woman, so she gets to know not just one midwife but a group of midwives, one of whom will look after her during labor. Sam Norman: As people do tend to want the personal touch, I mean basically, you want your favorite midwife to be there when you're actually doing the business. Sue MacDonald: Well, sometimes, I mean sometimes it's not always possible to get the midwife that you know very well, but I have to say that as a midwife when you're caring for women in labor, you get a very good relationship very quickly and we're trained and tuned in to what woman need and basically once you get to know woman in half-an-hour, you get a very strong relationship with her and you'll tend to have one woman for her labor. Sam Norman: It is very intimate relationship, isn't it? Sue MacDonald: It is very intimate. It's very special, very special for a mother and midwife. Sam Norman: I had huge affection for mine. I was very lucky. And is it possible -- do you think really to prepare for birth. Sam Norman: Well, it was interesting that you are preamble about waiting till the end of nine months, because I think preparation for birth has to start much earlier if possible, because entering and everyone says that going into labor and birth is a bit like a marathon and the advantage of, if you're preparing for marathon is you know what the deal is, you know how to try and you can have t

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