Natural Childbirth- Most Common Questions Answered

There must be so many pregnant women out there, as my blog is running hot and my inbox is clogged with questions!  So, I thought I would compile a list of the 3 most asked questions about pregnancy and birth from my blog and the women I teach.  Firstly, my background, I am mother to two beautiful boys 7yrs and 21months (still breastfeeding!), a Midwife of 9 years and a Lactation Consultant.  I work in a birthing unit, teach antenatal classes and run a lactation clinic at a pharmacy.

Question 1

How much pain will I be in during labour?

This is such a common question and most women will often ask their friends for the answer.  My standard reply to this question is how about learning some methods to cope with the pain, so whatever your labour feels like you are able to deal with it.  This takes the focus off the pain, which is something you cannot know, to something you can do.  You take the control back. 

It is very difficult to describe what type of pain you will feel, hence, the answer above.  Some people suggest putting a peg on your ear lobe and leave it there for a minute or pinch your ear lobe and gradually get firmer and firmer for a minute.  But really it is a question that has a different answer for everyone.  So learning more about relaxation and coping strategies is the key.  Strategies such as hypnobirthing, yoga and Lamaze will help you turn the pain into a positive.  Just really commit to learning and practicing the technique that suits you and allow it to become instinctual, this is how you will successfully cope with the pain of contractions.  To learn more about the many different relaxation techniques click here. 

Question 2

Is sex safe during pregnancy?

I have so many women ask this question and the answer is yes.  Sex is a great way to relax and bond with your partner; you may even feel really great about your growing body and want to have sex all the time!  If you have a low lying placenta (where you placenta grows close to or over the opening of your womb, cervix) then sex may be contraindicated as bleeding may occur.  Please check with your health care professional.   

Bleeding can occur following intercourse, usually during the later stages of pregnancy, most times there is nothing wrong, however, do check with your doctor or midwife.  If you are overdue sex can send you into labour, this is because semen contains prostaglandins which will soften your cervix and may trigger labour. 

Question 3

Do I need to prepare my breasts for breastfeeding?

This is a common question and the answer has changed over the years.  Women used to be told to toughen up their nipples with towels and other abrasive products.  This is not advised anymore, no preparation is needed, your breasts were made for breastfeeding and changes are taking place throughout your whole pregnancy. 

You may experience leaking of yellowish, thick fluid; this is normal and can happen quite early in the pregnancy.  Leaking or not leaking is not an indication of your ability to produce breast milk.

Women have different shapes and sizes of breasts, small or large breasts are both capable of producing enough milk for your baby.  Your nipples can be any shape and may even look pulled in – this is nothing to worry about now as your baby will pull them out whilst sucking.  True inverted nipples can be managed with some help from a lactation consultant when your baby is born.   

One thing you can do before your birth is to look at your breasts, feel them and get to know them.  Breasts are amazing and will give your baby protection, satisfaction and the best start in life.  If you want to learn more about breastfeeding a fantastic book has been written called 5 Seriously Simple Strategies to Survive Your First Week of Parenting and Beyond written by Jenny Jones.  Jenny is a registered nurse of 40 years, a certified midwife of 36 years, a Lactation Consultant and an Early Childhood Nurse of 12 years.  Jenny has witnessed first hand the anxiety parents feel in the first week of birth…and gently guides you with her compassionate and nurturing advice.  This book will give you the confidence and arm you with the best questions to ask when learning how to breastfeed.  It is a free book when you download my natural childbirth education package, click here to find out how you can transform your birth and breastfeeding experience to one of joy and confidence.

If you have a particular question that you would like answered, please contact me through my blog and I will be more than happy to answer any type of question you have.  Enjoy your birth preparation and make relaxation part of your routine.


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