Your pregnancy, your midwife, your choice

Midwives

Life and news from one to One Midwives

05 May

Just keep swimming!

I started writing this article about 6 years ago (had a different title then!), when I was an independent midwife, and I never finished it – it seemed a good time to finish it now and share it with you all, but due to the time lapse between beginning it and finishing it, I felt I needed to revisit my initial inspiration to make it fresh in my mind again.

The inspiration had come from a lazy Sunday afternoon, flicking through the television channels and settling on watching the film ‘Shark Tale’

So, I sat down again, cup of tea and pen and paper for notes in hand and began watching….”Finding Nemo”!

As the film began I started to scribble notes, and smile, excited to finish the article and share it with my peers, but as the plot progressed it didn’t seem the same as my first inspirational light bulb moment!

I carried on, and as I got to the last half an hour of the film I realized I was watching the wrong film! I thought about changing the article and pretending it was always based on “Finding Nemo” instead of “Shark Tale’, but telling the story of my mistake felt more honest. I made a mistake; I was trying to finish a few tasks at once and got it wrong. Sometimes we hide from mistakes, and sometimes we can find a way though and be adaptable. I chose the latter today!

As midwives, we often have to deal with challenging situations when caring for women, both as a professional and also as an advocate for the women. Just recently, I tried to deal with lots of challenges and difficulties at the same time, which left me tired, drained, and wondering whether I actually make a difference or not? This is not unique to me, my midwifery colleagues across the country encounter these times frequently and I wanted to share my thoughts with you all.

It made me think about how we keep going when times are tough. Who do we lean on? Who do we confide in? Who do we team up with? How do we get through and come out smiling?

So, back to the film- “Finding Nemo” is an animated film, based on a fish that loses his mother and is looked after by his father. His Father is worried about Nemo taking risks and tried to stifle his desires to spread his wings (or gills) and explore and follow his heart and his dreams. Nemo does take the plunge though, and goes off into the ocean against the advice of his father, and gets caught by a fisherman!

The film branches off :-

The father sets out in search of his son, makes unusual friends along the way in his quest, and searches against all odds and adversity. He receives support from an unlikely source – a group of sharks, takes some risks of his own and has to learn to trust and let go when swallowed by a whale to achieve his goal and move forward. He is kept motivated, by his unlikely friend Dory who tells him “…When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep Swimming!”

On the other side of the ocean, Nemo is trapped in a fish tank in a dentist surgery – he comes together with many other fish, with many different characters and backgrounds. He learns to adapt, and be brave, he finds a mentor and they make a plan to escape, and not conform to the restrictions around them. He tackles adversity and overcomes it, but not alone. He has support, and some fun along the way.

The film ends with father and son reunited and status quo resumes – as a result of hard work, friendship, mentorship, teamwork, sharing knowledge accompanied by sheer determination and blind faith.

This reminds me so much of being a midwife. There are good days, bad days, ups, downs, grief, loss, ecstasy and joy.

Sometimes we all get off track, midwifery can be a whirlwind of emotions, chaos, and joy. We get overwhelmed, we get swept along with others and sometimes we lose our way. We need to be kind to ourselves, and each other, and just keep swimming!

Find the strength to carry on, sometimes you have to look outside of your comfort zone, as the most unlikely people can be the greatest of support, talk to each other, carry each other and stand together and you can get through.

Sharing knowledge amongst midwives is an age-old tool that we have used for eons. The benefits are plethoric – aspiring, student, or new midwives learn from experienced midwives; midwives learn from each other, and from women.

We tell stories, debrief on trauma, recollect humour and console grief - Women supporting women, professionally and personally. We recall families that touched our hearts and changed our practice, and we share our intuitive knowledge to strengthen our own, and others practice. We learn, grow and change, and embed evidence-based practice into our work, whilst respecting the huge social element to a midwives role.

Midwifery sharing of knowledge is akin to a large family meal – something for everyone to enjoy, coming together as a family to just ‘be’ and gain knowledge and quench our thirst for learning and our passion and drive for women centered care.

Just Like Nemo, and his dad, you can do anything you set your mind to – with a little help from friends, support from sometimes the most unexpected of places, and a mentor to keep you going and guide you along the way. Sometimes our faith is blind, and you have to swim against the current, sometimes you have to swim down stream, and sometimes you have to swim full force in the direction of your dreams accompanied by your support network to overcome your problems.

Never look back and regret, never give up and you will be rewarded for all you have done and continue to for the women and babies of this world.

And, remember – when life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming!

Katie Wainwright
One to One Northwest Ltd
08 Dec

A week in the life of a One to One Midwife

Have you ever wondered what its like to be part of a team at One to One Midwives?

Have you thought of applying for a job with One to One but not sure what a typical day is like?

You’re in luck!

One to One Wirral midwife, Michelle Ryan, has shared a week in the life of a One to One midwife.

Monday:

At 8:50AM I do the school run. 
At 9:00AM I take ‘divert’ off my phone ready for my working day. 
Between 9:15 – 1:00PM I saw 5 of my postnatal women. 
At 1:00PM I conducted a new antenatal home booking and then 2 postnatal/NIPES. 
At 3:30PM I did the school run then at 6:00PM started my on call commitment.
I completed my paper work between 8:00 - 10:00PM. I didn’t receive any call outs.

Tuesday:

8:30AM School run then straight to clinic to attend a scan. I had a natter with some colleagues before heading to 5 antenatal home visits. 
3:30PM School run. 
6:00PM diverted my phone to the on call midwife and completed my daily paper work (I prefer to do paperwork at night so I can do school run)

Wednesday:

Protected day off

Thursday:

At 8:50AM I took my sons to school. 
At 9:00AM I took off my phone ‘divert’ but went to the gym between 9:00 – 10:00AM. 
Between 10:30-12:00 I went to 2 routine antenatal visits, then between 12:00 -3:00PM I saw 3 postnatal women. 
Between 3:00 – 5:00PM I did 2 antenatal home visits then I was called as a second to attend a lovely home birth. 
I was home at 6:45PM and diverted to the on-call midwife.

Friday:

Took my boys to school as usual and soon after took the divert off my phone. 
At 9:00AM I got a call from one of my women needing support in labour. At 11:00AM baby was born and after all checks completed I left at 1:00PM. 
I saw 4 other women for antenatal checks then home at 5:00PM. 
6:00PM diverted phone.

Saturday:

Conducted a Hypnobirthing course then went to 2 primary postnatal home visits.

Sunday:

Protected day off

So how does that sound?

No two days are the same at One to One. No two days are the same in midwifery!

The One to One Wirral Team are recruiting for passionate midwives to join them! Could this be for you?

Still not sure? Join us on the 19th December at 17:00hrs for a free webinar on what it is like to work as part of the team – see what we can offer you and see if this way of working fits for you.

One to One Wirral Lead Midwife Naomi Poole and One to One Wirral midwife Michelle Ryan will be conducting the Webinar – Join us and listen to the midwives working in the team. Ask questions you’ve always wanted the answers to.

Details of the Webinar will be published on our Facebook page shortly – save the date! Looking forward to seeing you there.

https://www.facebook.com/OnetoOneMidwives

26 Nov

Rebozo Workshop

Last week some of the midwives attended a Rebozo Workshop ran by Selina Wallis a doula and public health researcher. A rebozo is a traditional Mexican shawl that is long enough to wrap around a woman's body (about 4-5 feet). It is a tool that can be used antenatally and in labour, and also afterwards for 'closing the ones'. It is used to assist the mother into various positions and for relaxation. A large scarf, sheet or piece of fabric can be substituted for a rebozo.

The rebozo acts like an extension of the labor partner's arms, allowing the partner to help support the laboring mother's weight so she doesn't have to. It can also help to ensure the mother through Birthing Naturally is in the right position through Rebozo

On the day we learnt and revised ways to recognise the signs of malposition in pregnancy and labour, and techniques to resolve issues and to help prevent intervention. We learnt many tips about how to use the rebozo to resolve many common and uncommon positioning problems (asyncliticsm, lack of engagement, posterior presentation, nuchal arm, cervical lip). We also had a go at belly dancing, which caused a few laughs, but also helped reinforce how important dance and movement are to birth.

The photographs of the day show midwives practising many of the techniques. We all left the day feeling refreshed, invigorated, and keen to introduce the rebozo into our practice, or with our knowledge refreshed.

More information for parents and midwives for fetal positioning through rebozo-sifting can be found here

Post by Michelle Beacock, One to One midwife



27 Jan

Good Cause

I'm good at starting things.

Like really good... just look in my loft! I've started sewing projects, eBay projects, and even various attempts at organizing my half completed projects!

But then I decided to actually finish something! I mean really finish something... like properly from beginning to end. It was flipping hard and the journey was littered with drama, tears of joy and tears of frustration, but somehow and against all odds it seemed, I finished and actually did it... it worked!! These inital efforts were academically related, so I then decided to set myself a physical challenge... and that worked too!! In that instance, finishing was paramount and time not important.

So this time, I have set myself an absolutely crazy challenge! Not only will my personal challenge require mental and physical strength to actually finish, said mental and physical tenacity has to get me there in JUST TWENTY FOUR HOURS!!

Yep, you read right! Three months ago, I didn't even own a bike... four months ago, I declared my outright hatred for cycling. But now, on 4-5 July 2014, I will be cycling from London to Paris in 24 hours!

(Dont worry Rosie, I'll put my holiday request form in straight away I promise)

Let me put that into context for you... that's 280 miles of false flats, no sleep, steep hills, peeing in my bib shorts, crazy French drivers, possibly cold rain and beating sun... all in just 24 hours!

I do hope it's obvious I'm not just doing this for shits and giggles... I'm actually doing it for Scope, a charity that exists solely to make the lives of disabled people and their families better. My niece, Lilliana Mancillas, Miss Teen Texas United America, has worked for many years working with disabled teens and their families and I have seen what a positive impact she and her peers are making in other peoples' lives. I hope to share her vision and dream and raise money in order to provide much needed services, raising awareness and influencing changes which affect disabled people in our society... but without you my efforts are fruitless.

I know how many of these pages you get links to... I've not been living in a cupboard my whole life. And I also know that we've got a dump government and all their cutbacks and the recession and your neighbour's aunt's dog that needed sending to physio... I get it. But I'm not just asking for your money for nothing in return. For just a couple of quid, I invite you to share my journey. My ups, my downs... my falling downs (guaranteed to be plenty). I have set up a blog to document all of my training, my kit, my rides, my ideas, my fails, my successes... I've even gone so far as to record rides to show you just how hard I am working for your dosh. And I invite you to come along if you fancy it... whether that be commenting on my blog and poking fun or giving me a bit of encouragement, or physically... I ride every chance I get, so if you're out and about and fancy a ride, please do give me a shout.

Thank you for making it this far if indeed you have and not skipped to the end. I promise to put your hard earned dosh to good use. And so do Scope.

Lots of Love and Best Wishes,

Antonia Segura-Walker, One to One Midwife

**Note: To support a good cause and sponsor Antonia please click here: http://www.justgiving.com/gayparee2014

08 Oct

Your baby is crying - Now what?

Those first few weeks getting to know your baby can be a very overwhelming time. Your baby may cry a lot and you may find this difficult to deal with, especially if you are feeling very tired and recovering after giving birth. Here are a few tips that I have put together, that I found helped me when I became a mother, and have helped the mums I have cared for since working at One to One Midwives.

Hold your baby skin to skin

Skin to skin contact reduces stress levels for both mother and baby. Skin to skin contact is also great for dads.

Allow your baby sucking time

Allow your baby sucking time. Offer a clean finger for your baby to suck on for a minute or two. Sucking is a way babies sooth themselves.

Give a taste

Hand express milk from the nipple for your baby to taste or dribble milk over the nipple to entice your baby to the breast.

Provide Motion

Pick up your baby, rock, walk, bounce or dance. Babies are used to constant motion whilst in your womb. Proving motion reminds them of ‘home’. Wearing your baby in a sling/carrier is a great way to keep your baby happy and your hands free.

Offer swaddling

Wrap your baby for a little while in a suitable swaddle sheet. Check your baby’s skin temperature by feeling her tummy and make sure she is not too hot or too cool.

Stay Calm

Babies are sensitive to your stress levels. If you are feeling stressed and your baby will not settle with you- try asking dad or a relative to hold and walk with your baby to try settle them so you can take a break and calm.

Reduce the stimulation

Too much stimulation, for too long can be overwhelming for babies. Dim the lights, avoid loud sounds and give your baby a break from visitors by keeping them at bay until your baby has settled into their new environment.

Massage your baby

Light touch massage using a natural ‘nut free; oil such as olive oil after a warm bath can really help relax your baby and is great to bring up stubborn wind.

Burp your baby or bicycle his legs

Maybe there is a burp that needs to come up or gas that needs to go down.

Co-Bathing

Share a warm bath with your baby with dim lighting. Your baby will recognise the feel and sounds of the warm water alongside the sound of your heart beating next to her chest just as though they are back in your womb.

Early feeding cues

Waking up 
Licking lips & sticking tongue out
Sucking sounds
Rooting 
Hand to mouth activity 
Generalized body movements

Feed your baby before the last feeding cue.

Do something different

If none of these solutions work- try distracting your baby by singing, humming or blowing in their face. Go for a walk outside in the garden or try a walk in their pram.

Post by One to One Midwife, Michelle Ryan.

25 Sep

Initial Contact: A Midwife's Story

A woman is at home with her partner and as her period is late, she takes a pregnancy test and realises that her that her life is about to change forever. She is going to be a mummy. She evaluates her options regarding care and decides to contact One to One Midwives as the service they offer sounds amazing. She carefully fills in the referral form which gets sent to a member of staff who will allocate her a midwife.

This is where I come in….

Via email, I get informed that I have a referral requiring contact. I eagerly open the referral. Sometimes there is loads of information to read, a traumatic obstetric history, a new relationship or a first time mummy getting to grips with all the new terminology that comes with pregnancy. Sometimes I only know her name, address and telephone number. It doesn’t matter either way. I am excited to contact this new family so I can start getting to know them.

Nervously, I try the number I have been given. I am wondering, will we get along? Does she have other children and will they like me? Who knows about the pregnancy? Have they told the new grandparents yet or are they waiting until the dating scan? I wait as the phone rings….

…and wait

…and wait

Then the answer machine kicks in. I don’t leave a message as I don’t know who knows about this new baby yet. I’ll try again later. A few hours later, I try again and get the answer machine. Again a few hours later, I try again. I think ‘maybe she thinks I am a PPI company and she is ignoring me’. But this time she answers…

I introduce myself, congratulate her on her wonderful news and explain about the service we offer. That I will be her named midwife. That I am on call for her 24/7 unless I am taking a protected day, in which case if she calls my number, she will reach my buddy who will be happy to talk to her. I tell her that I will provide her total care throughout the antenatal and postnatal period. I also remind her that if she decides that we don’t gel (for whatever reason) then she can contact One to One who will happily reallocate her a different midwife. We chat for a further 20 minutes. I am a bit of chatter box but find that this first contact is so vitally important in establishing the relationship that will grow as the pregnancy grows. We end the call having arranged a booking appointment with her and her partner in her home. I book her in my diary and look forward to sharing this new exciting journey with her and her family.

Post by Catherine Baddeley, One to One Midwife

03 Jul

Midwife of the Year Award

Last year, Our very own One to One Midwife RM Lauren Irving was nominated for The JOHNSON’S® BABY Mums' Midwife of the Year Award, part of the Royal College of Midwives Annual Midwifery Awards, recognises the incredible work carried out by particularly outstanding midwives across the country. It is the only award which allows mums to nominate midwives who they feel provided exceptional support - and guess what? she won!!! Here's what Sarah Critchley, who nominated Lauren for the award, had to say about her.

“Lauren’s expertise allowed me to have a wonderful water birth at home as I had planned and hoped for. She was calm, supportive and professional when helping me and ensured my husband was involved throughout – it felt like we were a little team! The support I received after the birth was incredible too, with Lauren visiting me every day to ensure I could breastfeed Faith properly and it is entirely down to Lauren that I am still breastfeeding 4 months later. Thanks to her skills and emotional support, I coped well with my pregnancy, labour and the transition into motherhood. I realise after speaking to other mums that Lauren went way beyond her duties.”

It's that time of year again and YOU could vote for the midwife who you feel is outstanding! And here's the link http://www.johnsonsbaby.co.uk/midwifeoftheyear

Post provided by Sue Collinson, One to One Midwife

26 Jun

Pets and New Borns

I love it when I knock on a door for the first time and can hear a snuffle, a scuffle or a wuff on the other side. I just know we'll get on (me and the dog, that is . . . I may have to exchange a few word with the human before I come to the same conclusion!)

As any of my pet-owning families will tell you, I always have to greet the dog/cat/rabbit/gecko before I say hello to Mum or Baby, partly because I'm animal crackers, but also because I know that it's important that a dog really needs to feel at ease with any strange and new "goings on" in its environment. I've been asked many times how baby and dog should be introduced and even, sadly, whether the dog should go to make way for the baby :-(

A dog is often the first "child" a young couple will have - ours was - and it's something that does need thinking about quite seriously.

The Dogs Trust has some very good advice at http://www.dogstrust.org.uk/az/factsheetsanddownloads/factsheetnewbaby10.pdf

Tell us about your experience of introducing baby and dog. Do you have any advice to offer?

Now have a laugh at this photo of me with our firstborn and our lovely Border Collie/Springer Spaniel cross, Sheba . . . What year do you think was this taken? (Check out the frames!)

Post by Rebecca Last: One to One Midwife

26 Mar

Why I love being a One to One Midwife...... By Michelle Ryan

I love so many different aspects of being a One to One Midwife, but I particularly love the relationships I build with so many amazing women and families. 

In 2002, I decided I needed a change from my career as a holistic therapist, and so began my path in midwifery and started my degree in midwifery practice. I had hopes to use my skills in holistic therapies to support women in labour. However, soon into my training, I discovered how medicalised midwifery actually was, and I was disheartened by the profession. 

In 2006, I graduated from Chester University, and started working as a newly qualified midwife within a hospital maternity ward. I was never truly satisfied in my role as a hospital midwife. I would rarely see the same woman for more than the one shift, so I never experienced true continuity of care. I recall many times driving home from my busy shift feeling so sad, frustrated and annoyed that I was restricted from providing the midwifery care that I had hoped, and of course, the care that women deserved due to time restraints, staffing levels and caring for so many women at one given time. 

In early 2011, I was at my lowest ebb in my career, so I decided I had to change my job as it was effecting my health.  I discovered One to One Midwives. I applied for a post and started working as a case loading midwife in June that year. I was delighted with my new post, and I knew instantly that I had made the best decision in my midwifery career and eventually discovered the passion I had longed for in midwifery.

Reflecting on my first year at One to One, there was so much I needed to learn to adapt to my new role out within the community.  I hadn't realised just how medicalised my approach to pregnancy and birth was when I first started. However, I soon adapted to the philosophy of One to One midwives- ‘promoting pregnancy and birth as a normal physiological process’, providing ‘women centred care’, and providing ‘individualised care’ to all women and their families.

I have been working at One to One Midwives for 20 months now, and I have cared for, and met so many special women and families. Having the time to provide quality care in the comfort of women's own home is undoubtedly a huge influence in building so many strong relationships with women.

The majority of the women in today’s life, tend to fear birth and these negative emotions towards labour and birth can effect on the whole birthing process. However, as a One to One Midwife, I can offer my time to sit down and provide them with the time that they need to be fully informed about labour, and encourage them to talk about any anxieties and fears so they can overcome them. I have found that this really helps prepare women and their birthing partners for labour, and becoming new parents which is a very rewarding way to practice. 

One of my favourite ways of being as supportive community midwife, is attending the weekly Aqua Natal session at the Concourse in West Kirby and the coffee morning meet-up at Toast afterwards.

I took these lovely pictures at one of our meet-ups in February at Toast one Monday. These pictures have given me a lovely memory of a special morning catching up with so many lovely mums that I had met during their pregnancy and had cared for over the past 20 months. It was this meet up that inspired me to reflect on my role as a One to One midwife and realise just how amazing my job actually is. You see, midwifery to me is no longer a job…it’s a passion.  It is a role that I cherish. I truly care for the woman I care for and I have made some wonderful friends.


The easiest and best part of my job is building the most amazing relationships with my women and their families. I could easily sit and name each and every woman and her baby that I have cared for since working at One to One. However, the hardest part of my job is when I have to hug them goodbye at their final appointment with me (usually 6 weeks). It is so much easier when I know that they will have more babies and assure me that I will be seeing them soon…that doesn’t seem like ‘goodbye’ but rather ‘see you soon’. I do much better with those.

I often think about each and every women I have cared for over the past 20 months, wondering how they are getting on, if they are happy, and how big their babies are now, and if when I cared for them- did I make a difference? Therefore, having the opportunity to meet-up at Toast is a lovely way of seeing some of the women I have previously cared for. I can see how they are embracing their new role as a mum, seeing how amazing they are doing with breastfeeding their babies a year old despite remembering the struggles they went through in the first few weeks, and getting the chance to cuddle with their babies once more and seeing how much they have grown!!

So as you can see….. It is impossible not to think about my job and my women every single day, even when I am on holiday. I have children of my own and I have honestly thought about whether I should change my job for something that I don’t take home with me. But this will never ever happen because… every time I see how my position impacts on the lives of my women I feel truly blessed, and every time one of my women looks at me with tears in her eyes and says, “Thank you!”  I say to myself, “How can I not love this job….”



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