moKee Birth School online: preparing for labour

3 min read

by Madlena Szeliga

Usually, when you enter your 3rd trimester you realise your due date is just around the corner. You make all the final decisions about the labour and you try to be as prepared as possible. You can't control everything when it comes to birth, but you can make sure the things you CAN control are all covered.
Here we gathered all the "preparing to labour" related questions, our participants asked during the latest Q&A session at moKee Birth School Online. Sophie Martin, qualified midwife (aka The Infertile Midwife) answered them all for you.

It is really brilliant- start at 35/6 weeks. Massage skin between vagina and anus- get any natural based oil (coconut, olive etc) and put thumbs in and stretch it gently out. It is fantastic at reducing the bigger, 3rd, 4th degree tears.

It is similar to Epino. It’s a ball that you put in the vagina and it’s to try and stretch the perineum, to reduce tears. We don’t specifically recommend them – there’s no evidence to say they work. Anecdotally, many women have found them useful.

This is popular at the moment - it is suggested that eating 6 or 7 dates a day at the end of pregnancy, might help ripen the cervix. You can eat dates in loads of forms, smoothie, date bars etc Although there hasn’t been lots of evidence to support this, it is growing in popularity.

The midwife will be feeling your tummy at every appointment in the 3rd trimester and will be able to tell you.

When the baby is lying across your tummy this is transverse. In early pregnancy- it doesn’t matter what position your baby is in. But if you are towards the pregnancy the end then we want to try and get the baby to be head down. An External Cephalic Version (ECV) is where a midwife or Dr will try and turn the baby into the head-down position. They are generally safe procedures but needs individual assessment as to whether this is suitable for you and your baby. If your baby is breech, then is may be offered to you.

Unlikely if the head is engaged – always a small chance, as babies can do weird and wonderful things, but very unlikely.

Ideally, you want the baby at the front of the tummy. So my top tip is to stop slouching. The back is the heaviest part of the baby, so if you slouch the back comes to your back. UFO – Upright, forward, open will be your mantra! You can get a chair with no arms on it, turn it around and sit backwards. Or scrubbing the floor position – (you don’t actually scrub the floor!) But get on hands and knees, gravity will pull baby forward. Breaststroke swimming can help.

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