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There are many kinds of families and family structures, whether you’re a single parent, same sex couple, adoptive or multi-racial family, each family is unique and normal. We know different families may have varying individual issues, needs, strengths and values. Here we provide articles to support and respect the different challenges and the celebrations of becoming parents.

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What an amazing photo💙
A great post explaining how a womans body has the 'perfect physiological system' in place to birth their baby 1💙 Reposted from @birth_ed
The Fetal Ejection Reflex. In the final stages of an undisturbed labour, the fetal ejection reflex is triggered, causing powerful, involuntary, expulsive contractions that enable us to birth our babies. As our baby moves through the pelvis, they will stimulate the nerve endings and initiate this incredible response within our bodies. At this point in labour you will have a huge surge in adrenalin, again contributing to initiating the fetal ejection reflex (thought to be so we have both energy for this moment, and that we become alert immediately after birth in order to protect our newborn babies!). In hospital settings, we sometimes see an external trigger for adrenalin production (such as discussions around instrumental birth or new people entering a room) cause this response too, as our bodies 'sense danger' and decide that baby is better out than in!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This surge in adrenalin (the hormone of fear) can also explain why we sometimes feel or express 'panic' during transition, it's our outward response to our body's way of preparing hormonally for what is about to happen. For some women this comes with an irresistible urge to bear down and 'push', for others the reflex takes overentirely.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The simplest way to describe what the fetal ejection reflex feels like, is remembering a time where you suffered with food poisoning and needed to be sick, nothing would stop you being sick, it was just HAPPENING! It's basically that... in reverse.
If birth is disturbed too much, be that by intervention, conversation, location or something else, we run the risk of interfering with the body's natural flow of hormones, meaning we miss hugely helpful, natural mechanisms such as this! It's therefore important that we think carefully about the environment and support we have around us during birth. We have the PERFECT physiological system already in place, we simply need to let it do it's job! How cool is this?! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Incredible photo by @devonejonesphotography

A wonderful post about the positives of a physiological birth 😊

Reposted from @birth_ed What does your body need from you to give birth? A birth pool? Candles? Massage? A TENS machine?
Nope. Of course, these things may help the process- but from a physiologically perspective it’s as simple as these three things. .
You need to feel SAFE.
You need to feel RELAXED.
You need to feel UNOBSERVED.
You need to feel UNDISTURBED.
When we are in labour, we are hanging out in a part of our nervous system called the Parasympathetic Nervous System. And it’s in this state that our bodies produce all the hormones we need for labour to progress.
Oxytocin- to initiate, regulate, maintain, lengthen and intensify our contractions.
Melatonin- to help us relax, rest and BOOST the powers of oxytocin.
Endorphins- our bodies natural pain reliving hormone.
The minute we feel afraid, disturbed or watched we switch systems and head into EMERGENCY mode (sympathetic nervous system)! This can cause labour to slow down, become more painful or stop altogether! It’s our bodies’ natural response to protect our babies from perceived danger! But if the danger we sense isn’t actually a dinosaur or a fire, but an unfamiliar environment, or a conversation with someone we don’t know, then it’s NOT helpful!
So when it comes to thinking ahead to your birth- every choice you make, from Antenatal course to birth place, pain relief option to intervention- have those FOUR thoughts fixed in your mind- will this make me feel safe? Will this make me feel relaxed? Will this make me feel unobserved?
The birth-ed Antenatal and Hypnobirthing course supports exactly this- and helps you find the right combo of choices with all of this in mind! You may find the idea of being in hospital comforting, or it might freak you out! You may find an epidural helps you relax or may find it takes you away from the labour ‘zone’. What makes us feel safe, relaxed, unobserved and undisturbed certainly won’t be the same for everyone, but let these 4 thoughts shape your decision making and you’re doing well! Our online course is just £40 and covers everything you need to prepare for birth! 📸 @robin_weir_photography

As we come to the end of #maternalmentalhealth week this post by @jo__love__ shows all the different ways you can reach out for support if you need it❤❤ Reposted from @jo__love__ NEVER ALONE: Support is out there. This probably won’t get all the likes or engagement but it doesn’t matter. Please share if you can, because the way I see it, if we help one struggling mum access safe support during this time we will have achieved something. Tap on the image to see some of the many wonderful organisations helping mums and still running during lockdown (sometimes in a more limited way of course). Help is out there! I’ve stuck with national level as there is only so much space (and so many tags on a picture) but please know tonnes is still happening on a local level, particularly from some wonderful charities, so do look to see what’s available to you (GPS, midwives and health visitors are a great source of knowledge for this). .

Please note, I champion safe support and therefore have taken great care in selecting these services (and a special thanks goes to the wonderful @jessicawarne who worked with me) to ensure this list is chock full of reputable organisations. Please always make sure you are comfortable with a particular organisations guidelines and policies when reaching out. .

#mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthwellness #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealth #maternalmentalhealth #maternalmentalhealthawareness #maternalmentalhealthawarenessweek #MMHAWeek #mendingmumsminds #pnd #pndawareness #ppd #postnataldepression #postpartumdepression #depressionawareness #pndsupport #mumsminds #stopthestigma #breakthestigma #mentalhealthformums #strongertogether #shouldertoshoulder #mentalhealthrecovery #depressionwearslippy #mentalillness #itsgoodtotalk #mentalhealthrecovery #suicideprevention #mentalillness

Reposted from @birthrightsorg In emergencies it is easy to discount, forget or minimise the importance of rights respecting, compassionate, individualised maternity care. But today we stand with so many others to thank frontline caregivers for their tireless work in these difficult times and to remind every corner of maternity services in the UK that human rights in childbirth matter - perhaps now more than ever before.

Birthrights is working hard behind the scenes to respond to your requests for advice, to identify if and how service changes & restrictions may be impacting on the most vulnerable, to challenge disproportionate changes, remind pregnant people of their rights and to work with our partners in policy to ensure women’s voices are heard and that their need for emotionally and physically safe care are met.

We’ll also be bringing information to you regularly on this, our new Instagram channel - and we want to hear from you. What information do you need from this channel? Who would you like to hear from? What can we do to help? Who can you connect with us?

If you need advice, head to our website (link in bio) as DMs aren’t the best place to help individuals. For now I (@rebecca.schiller) will be running this account but expect special guests, live chats and some of our brilliant team to make themselves known to you soon.

For now: know that you matter, that we care and that protecting your rights in pregnancy and birth remains our top priority. Tune into @the_practising_midwife_journal chat with our Programmes Director @maria.booker.12 tonight. Share this page with your contacts and above all, know that we are here if you need us.

Posted @withregram • @midwifetiz We all know breastfeeding has all kinds of health benefits for babies. ⁣⁣
💎 It helps to protect them against infections, it’s been linked to a reduced risk of childhood obesity and leukaemia, as well as cardiovascular disease in adulthood. ⁣⁣
💎 We also know that exclusive breastfeeding can confer life-long advantages. The Lancet reviews found a clear link between extended breastfeeding and higher IQ scores and school attainment.⁣⁣
💎 Another study looked at both full-term and preterm populations, evidence is compelling that breastfeeding benefits child neurodevelopment. ⁣⁣
💎 These benefits may result from nutritional differences in breast milk compared with infant formula and differences in the mother-baby interactions that occur during feeding. ⁣⁣
💎 Overall, available evidence regarding neurodevelopmental benefits supports existing recommendations that infants should be breastfed exclusively for at least 6 months.⁣⁣
💎 In addition it’s so very important to support preterm and hospitalised babies with breastfeeding or maternal milk. ⁣⁣
💎 Decisions about when and for how long to breastfeed are intensely personal choices for every mother. ⁣⁣
💎 Midwives support women who want to breastfeed, whenever they need to, wherever they are. ⁣⁣
#breastfeeding #women #midwives #informedchoice #support #babyfriendlyinitiative #WHO #Lancet #evidencebasedbenefits #midwifetiz

This fantastic resource has been created by @cornwallmidwife with beautiful illustrations by @laurenrebbeck. You can find the link to access this article on @the_practising_midwife_journal page and on website, along with lots more fantatsic articles and information.
🧡💛💚💙💜 "Is there such a thing as a bit of ‘midwife magic’ to optimise the chances of a straightforward vaginal birth? Or is it actually just a melting pot of science, skills and environment? Someone recently told me how I worked my ‘magic’ and helped women birth their occiput posterior babies gently into water. I had actually tried to help them rotate their babies, in order to ease baby into an anterior position, but it hadn’t worked! However, both women became more comfortable, swiftly laboured and birthed gently and easily in the birth pool. It was awesome! But I don’t think it’s magic. I’ve been specialising in normal birth for many years and I believe it’s simply optimising the cocktail of hormones that promote physiological birth, implementing midwifery techniques to enhance biomechanics, listening, guiding and believing". @cornwallmidwife 🧡💛💚💙💜

#Breastmilk #Colostrum “#LiquidGold ” ⁣⁣
A thick, yellow fluid. First milk mother produces. ⁣⁣
Foremilk Watery milk, at the beginning of a feeding, Low fat concentrations ⁣⁣
Hindmilk Thick and creamy #milk, at the end of a feeding, High fat concentrations. ⁣⁣
Do not limit #breastfeeding. If the time spent on a breast is limited, baby will be receiving foremilk from both #breasts and will become too full to obtain a significant amount of hindmilk from either breast and won’t gain weight. ⁣⁣
This high volume of foremilk, low-fat feeding can result in poor #weightgain and #colic-like symptoms.⁣⁣
Baby is #feeding adequately if baby has gained #weight, has ~ 6 wet nappies and ~ 4 stools is probably receiving both #foremilk and #hindmilk.⁣⁣
@midwifetiz Posted @withregram • @pink_or_blue_care ⁣⁣
🤱🏽⁣⁣ #lactation #lalecheleague #lactationconsultant #breastfeeding #breastmilk #colostrum #newbornboy

I (Hannah) @midwifetiz May have a request or two over the coming weeks...💗💗💗💗💗💗💗⁣
Our new unique website All4Birth is taking shape nicely. And it’s nearly ready! 😵⁣⁣
➡️ It’s going to be freely available to all⁣⁣
➡️ We’re gathering childbirth and parenting information into one accessible space ⁣⁣
➡️ Family friendly articles relating to normal, physiological childbirth from preconception to early parenthood ⁣⁣
➡️ All written by maternity professionals and based on evidence ⁣⁣
➡️ With real life stories from women and families⁣⁣
We’re so excited about it. We hope all birthing people and families will love it! ⁣⁣
The articles can also support midwives and birth workers to provide information to women in their care.⁣⁣
Anyway, today I’ve been writing an article about breast changes in pregnancy and about breast massage. ⁣⁣
Are there any women who would like to support me by providing a short account about how breast massage helped them prepare for feeding or for breast care during pregnancy? ⁣⁣
You can be anonymous if you wish. Please PM me if you can help. Thank you 🙏🏽💐 ⁣

#all4birth #normalbirth #pregnancy #birth #parenting #women #families #birthingpeople #informedchoice

I'll tell you a tale, that's been recently written,
Of a powerful army, so Great it saved Britain. 🇬🇧 They didn't have bombs and they didn't have planes, they fought with their hearts and they fought with their brains. ❤️🧠 They didn't have bullets, armed just with a mask,
we sent them to war, with one simple task.
To show us the way, to lead and inspire us,
to protect us from harm and fight off the virus 🦠

It couldn't be stopped by our bullet proof vests,
an invisible enemy, invaded our chests 🛡

So we called on our weapon, our soldiers in Blue, 🧑🏼‍⚕️💙👩🏾‍⚕️💙👨🏼‍⚕️💙👮🏼💙👩🏻‍⚕️💙👨🏽‍⚕️💙🧑🏼‍⚕️💙👩🏻‍⚕️💙👨🏻‍⚕️ "
All Doctors, All Nurses, Your Country needs you"

We clapped on our streets, hearts bursting ❤️ with pride.
As they went off to war, while we stayed inside,

They struggled at first, as they searched for supplies.
But they stared down the virus, in the whites of its eyes,
they leaped from the trenches and didn't think twice,
some never came back, the ultimate price.
So tired, so weary, yet still they fought on,
As the virus was beaten and the battle was won.

The many of us, owe so much, to so few,
The brave and the bold, our heroes in Blue 💙

So let's line the streets and remember our debt.

We love you, our heroes ❤️ Lest we forget.

By Matt Kelly (2020)

#covid-19 #stayhome #staysafe #thankyounhs

Thank you to @student_midwife_studygram for posting this on facebook 💙

Super proud to post this by #sanyuresearchunit, Andrew Weeks, Natalie Mobbs, Catherine Williams, Stuart Baird, Umber Agarwal and the excellent videographers who did all this on an iPhone.⁣

In birth the right companions matter and the language we use matters ♥️ ⁣

Watch full video on You Tube ‘Respect in Childbirth’ Sanyu Research Unit at Liverpool Women’s⁣

#languagematters #care #compassion #childbirth #physiology #hormones

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