Concerns and coping in pregnancy

While working with expectant couples I ask them to write down what their concerns or pressing questions are. As you can imagine there are quite a few different questions that I get asked but these are the top three questions that I get asked time and time again.

How do I cope with morning sickness?

About two thirds of us are affected by morning sickness in our pregnancies, with the severity ranging from mild dizziness to full blown vomiting all day long. Below are some suggestions however please note that if you are concerned or have a pre-existing condition you should consult your GP or midwife.
•  Eating little and often and not allowing yourself to get ‘hungry’
•  Eating ‘beige’ foods ie carbohydrates
•  Dry toast or a dry arrowroot biscuit before getting out of bed
•  Increasing vitamin B6
•  Chewing gum
•  Ginger in any form, biscuits or whole
•  Drinking black Redbush tea
•  Homeopathic remedies
•  Seabands – the type you buy for motion sickness on a boat
If you listen to your body and what it is telling you, you can and will cope much better with this, and remember it is not for nothing, you are, after all, growing a little life inside so try to enjoy each stage.

How can I ensure that my baby is in the best position for labour?

The ideal position for your baby is head down with its back down one side of your tummy. Jean Sutton and Pauline Scott developed a theory, Optimal Fetal Positioning, where they found that the position and movement of a mother could influence the way a baby positions itself in those final weeks of pregnancy. They believed that the position of the baby is reliant on our lifestyles and posture. As the baby’s back is the heaviest part of the baby, gravity will work with it and if we lay slouching on the couch the baby will turn into a back to back position. The same goes for if we spend time sitting upright or slightly leaning forward, this will encourage baby into a great position as its back will naturally be ‘pulled’ into the mother’s tummy. In order to promote this great optimal positioning there are a few things that we can do. . When you sit on a chair, make sure your knees are lower than your pelvis, and your trunk should be tilted slightly forwards. If you are sitting on a couch then try to lean slightly forward and ensure that there is no chance of baby slipping into your back. Attempting to watch our posture and movements can help our babies into the best position for labour.

What should I pack for the labour and birth?

A very common question and one that may be quite overwhelming for some is ‘What do I really need for my labour?’ Well, it would depend on your birth plan and what you wish to use but over the years I have compiled a list of what is handy to have in your bag. I tend to work on the ‘be prepared and have it even if you don’t use it’ rule. Typically things that couples pack and that I as a doula would carry are as follows:
•  CD player/iPod and dock and music – check with your hospital if they will let you plug things in, some actually have docking stations for iPads/iPhones.
•  Something comfy and lightweight to wear unless you are having a water birth then an old bra or bikini top.
•  Lip balm for dry lips.
•  Fruit juice/energy drinks and healthy snacks for energy for mum and partner too.
•  Flannel for cooling face and hands and a darker coloured one in case you want to use it as a warm compress on the perineum.
•  Water spritzer, this can be wonderful if filled with lavender water and can cool and relax a labouring mum.
•  Any massage tools.
•  Photo/visualisation from home -something to focus on during contractions.
•  Camera and batteries.
•  Birth ball – although most hospitals have these.
•  Two big towels – preferably darker colours.
•  Phone and charger.
•  As you can’t always use candles in hospitals you can use LED battery tea candles for mood lighting.
•  Any oils that you may like to use such as lavender and clary sage oil.
•  Partner’s bag with some items to help your partner to freshen up after the birth.
•  Don’t forget that you will need some things for baby too and for mum after she has given birth.

Claire Rocuzzi
As an antenatal educator and doula, Claire enjoys empowering women and their partners to make informed choices about childbirth. Having qualified in 2007 she has had many years’ experience of working with parents during their transition to parenthood and is continually studying and researching to keep her skills up to date. She facilitates birth hope workshops to help expectant mothers to work through fears around childbirth, as well as birth loss workshops and is currently researching for her first book.
For individual advice you can contact Claire direct at:
Speak to me on 0800 063 1532

Consultations priced from £15 for 10 minutes