New Meeting Venue Announced for 2019

January 27th, 2019

New for 2019! Our monthly meetings are now held at Harrison Park, Hall Road, Hull. HU69DQ. On the 3rd Sunday of each month.

For more information on our face to face meet ups >>>> Our Meetings


 

Maternity Voices Partnership is coming to Hull!

January 27th, 2018

Something exciting is happening next week! Hull is getting it’s very own Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP).

Are you pregnant? Have you had a baby in the last two years. Then, we'd like to get your views.We're holding a…

Posted by Hull Women and Children's Hospital on Thursday, 25 January 2018

So what does this mean?

What is a Maternity Voices Partnership (MVP)?

NCT (1) define it as a multi-disciplinary group, of ‘parents working in partnership with midwives, doctors, other health professionals and charity reps [to] directly help improve future care to women, partners and babies using hospitals, birth centres and community services. MVPs will also be chaired by a ‘service user representative’.

Is it a new?

No not exactly. National Maternity Voices (2) explain further that ‘Maternity Voices Partnerships (MVPs) are an innovative development based on an updating of Maternity Services Liaison Committees (MSLCs)’. Multi disciplinary maternity services meetings have been taking place for a long time, but although attendees may have come from both public sector and voluntary organisations, service users weren’t always regularly involved.

So why now?

Following the release of the National Maternity Review  ‘Better Births: Improving outcomes of maternity services in England’ (3) in February 2016, a resource pack (4) was made available to help maternity services implement the recommendations made. ‘Effective service user co-production’ was suggested, recommending the ‘establishment of independent formal multidisciplinary committees, … [called] “Maternity Voices Partnerships” (formerly MSLCs), to influence and share in local decision-making’.

What are the Better Births (3) Recommendations?

7 recommendations were made:

1. Personalised care, centred on the woman, her baby and her family, based around their needs and their decisions, where they have
genuine choice, informed by unbiased information.

2. Continuity of carer, to ensure safe care based on a relationship of mutual trust and respect in line with the woman’s decisions.

3. Safer care, with professionals working together across boundaries to ensure rapid referral, and access to the right care in the right place; leadership for a safety culture within and across organisations; and investigation, honesty and learning when things go wrong.

4. Better postnatal and perinatal mental health care, to address the historic underfunding and provision in these two vital areas, which can have a significant impact on the life chances and wellbeing of the woman, baby and family.

5. Multi-professional working, breaking down barriers between midwives, obstetricians and other professionals to deliver safe and personalised care for women and their babies.

6. Working across boundaries to provide and commission maternity services to support personalisation, safety and choice, with access to specialist care whenever needed.

7. A payment system that fairly and adequately compensates providers for delivering high quality care to all women efficiently, while supporting commissioners to commission for personalisation, safety and choice.

How can I get involved?

If you are pregnant or have had a baby in the last 2 years and would like to help shape the future of Maternity Care Services, or feel very passionate about improving Maternity Care, just telephone the number on the advert above to confirm your place at the event at Rock Up on Tuesday 30th January 2018. If you are unable to make it, keep a look out for further information on how you can get involved!


References

(1) https://www.nct.org.uk/professional/mslcs

(2) http://nationalmaternityvoices.org.uk/

(3) https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/national-maternity-review-report.pdf

(4) https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/nhs-guidance-maternity-services-v1.pdf

 

What can a Home Birth look like?

December 28th, 2017

Thanks to Becki for sharing her post

Finally had my home birth today… 7 days late. My third baby – he was facing forward so it was by far my toughest…

Posted by Becki Potter on Sunday, 17 September 2017

 

“You can choose where to give birth, even a stable. Home birth is your choice. It is the default. You have to decide to leave your home.”

December 28th, 2017

This is such a good summary and post by The Positive Birth Movement, festive too!

December 22ndYou can choose where to give birth, even a stable. Home birth is your choice. It is the default. You have…

Posted by The Positive Birth Movement on Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Born at Home Baby Vests – To raise funds for Hull & East Yorkshire Home Birth Group

October 19th, 2017

This week our Etsy shop went live! We are selling ‘born at home’ baby vests, the perfect gift for a home birthed baby!

When I had my baby back in August 2015 my sister wanted to buy me a home birth baby vest, she told me she had really struggled to find a design she liked and in the end ordered one from a printers where you could choose your own text! This gave us the idea of creating our own, with all funds raised going straight back into supporting local home birthing families..

Did you know that Hull & East Yorkshire Home Birth Group is solely run by volunteers? We give all our time for free and do not receive any financial support from NCT or the NHS like other home birth groups across the U.K do. In order for us to cover costs for our website and printing, we need to continue to raise funds. We would also like to buy a pull up banner for use at events and workshops too! So please consider buying our vest and raising money for a worthwhile cause!

You can buy the ‘born at home’ baby vest for £9.00 from our etsy shop! If you are local to Hull please contact us first to receive a local discount!

Thank you to The Rose Quartz Photography for supplying our lovely photos!


 

The Home Birth Checklist

October 2nd, 2017

Hot Water and Towels

In old movies you would always hear someone shout ‘get hot water and towels’ when a woman was in labour, it has been debated as to what the hot water and towels were actually for! Perhaps to occupy the least useful person and get them out of the way, or maybe towels to mop up and hot (boiling) water to sterilise things. Interestingly things really haven’t changed that much and in a recent poll asking local home birthing woman what items they would recommend for a home birth, both old towels and a birthing pool made it to the top of the list! (See below for the full list).

Lets go back to the beginning though, you might be wondering what do you actually need to give birth at home and how much mess will there be? Contrary to popular belief home births are not actually that messy. The midwives take away the majority of waste with them and some mums have even said that the odd stain on a sheet or towel has washed out. The first thing to consider is what sort of birth would you like? Where do you envisage giving birth? This might seem like a strange concept to someone who has already experienced a hospital birth but really, one of the biggest positives of giving birth in your home is that you get to set the rules!

Birthing on Dry Land

This might involve giving birth; over a birthing ball, on all fours, on a birthing stool, leaning on your birth partner, sat in your birth partner’s lap, knelt on a bed, on all fours on a bed, leaning over a bed…. and the list goes on, really anything goes. A good way to prepare for this is to have some old sheets on the floor, furniture and bed, don’t forget you might change your mind part way through giving birth so it’s a good idea to be prepared. On our sofa I laid plastic decorating sheets and then over that an old bed sheet that I didn’t mind chucking at the end. I ended up delivering the placenta here and this set up was perfect, the only clear up here was to bundle everything into a waste bag that the midwives took away with them. On our bed I followed advice to make it up as usual, then lay inco pads or put on a plastic sheet on and on top of that old bedding/sheets. This means that following the birth the old sheets and inco padding can be stripped away and disposed of and your bed is already made underneath.

Water Birth

If you would like to have a water birth it’s a good idea to plan well in advance where you will get your pool from. Some people like to buy a brand new pool, others look for second hand ones on selling sites or alternatively you can hire one. The hired ones book up fast so don’t leave it too late! Even if you buy a new one you will need to buy a new liner for it and possibly a new filling hose. Some people say that with a new pool a liner isn’t necessary but believe me, the clean up is so much easier if you can throw away the debris with the liner! This also makes it easier to sell the pool on! If hiring a pool it might be worth looking at a package, for a small amount extra I was able to hire a pool cover, birthing ball, birthing stool and a TENS machine from the same place.

When setting up the pool, it’s best to have tarpaulin underneath, I bought a few inexpensive sheets from our local Boyes and it was perfect for the job! I have heard that some people use shower curtains, but just be careful as I know some aren’t fully water resistant. On top of the tarpaulin I had a yoga mat so the floor wasn’t slippy for me or the midwives!

Before the birth it’s recommended to do a full pool run through, this ensures that your tap connecters work, there are no punctures and you can also get an idea of how long it takes to inflate and fill a pool! Don’t leave it too late to do this, our run through was exactly 5 hours before my waters broke!

Filling your Pool

We had a horrendous time with the universal tap connectors as they just weren’t universal enough for our taps!! Our taps were old so none would unscrew and I was beginning to envisage my partner traipsing back and forth with buckets. After a bit of YouTubing I found an American man who had connected a hose pipe to his shower head, so the next day heavily pregnant me was stood in a plumbing shop trying to explain why I wanted to connect a garden hose to my shower! Connecting the hose to the shower worked a treat but just be mindful that your shower may have a thermostat on it, this meant that we needed to top up the pool with water from the kettle to get it to temperature. Just a word of warning, I have seen on home birth pages people suggesting using the pump that comes with your rented pool to siphon water from the bath or a sink into your pool. It’s likely that the pump has already been used to empty the waste water following a birth and because the inside of a pump cannot be sterilised, this method is not recommended.

What else is needed?

Think about what birth environment you would like, someone famously once said that the perfect environment for a baby to be born is similar to the one it was conceived in. Think low lighting, candles, soft music, home comforts, snacks, aromatherapy oils etc, as said before, this is your home and your birth so pretty much anything goes! Also, don’t forget to stock up on tea bags, drinks and snacks for the midwives!

What do the midwives bring?

Historically midwives would bring a birthing bag or box to your house in the weeks leading up to your birth but this is often no longer the case. Most midwives will now bring their equipment with them on the day, this may include;

  • Monitoring equipment (Sphyg, Thermometer, Doppler – check the midwives have a waterproof cover if using a birth pool)

  • Resuscitation equipment

  • Suturing equipment

  • Oxytocics (for during placenta delivery and in case of heavy bleeding, only if required)

  • Adrenaline (in case of allergic reaction)

  • Vitamin K (check with midwives if you would prefer oral over injection)

  • General Obstetrics equipment

  • Gloves (sterile and non sterile – mention to midwives if you have a latex allergy)

  • Bags for the placenta and other waste (tell the midwives if you wish to keep the placenta)

  • Scales to weigh baby

  • Gas and Air.

Anything we’ve forgotten?

Here’s the rest of the list from our poll of local home birthing women:

  1. Old Towels

  2. Birthing Pool

  3. Tap Connector / Adapter

  4. A Jug (to measure urinary output before the midwives leave)

  5. Candles

  6. A Sieve / Debris Net

  7. Hose

  8. Birthing Ball

  9. Refreshments for Midwives

  10. Food

  11. TENS Machine

  12. Inco / Puppy Pads

  13. Hypnobirthing Book & CD

  14. Aromatherapy Oils

  15. A Birth Plan (including Breastfeeding contacts)

  16. Old Sheets

  17. Drinks (straws are also helpful)

  18. Music

  19. Phone App to Time Contractions (or pen and paper)

  20. Bin Bags

  21. Birthing Stool

  22. Doula

  23. Affirmation Board

  24. Sign on the Front Door (do not disturb)

  25. Fan

  26. Camera

You will also need the following. Don’t skimp on the maternity pads! I almost ran out before I had given birth because I didn’t realise that when your waters go they carry on leaking!

Taken from North Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust’s Guide

It’s worth adding that some home birthing mums prefer not to pack an overnight bag, personally I did pack one so I knew everything was in one place, this made it easier for my partner too. It doesn’t have to be an overnight bag though, you could always use a box or a shopping bag.


Read some local Home Birth Stories >>>>> Here!


 

22 Reasons Why Local Mums are Choosing to Give Birth at Home!

August 29th, 2017

1. Home is where I am most comfortable

2. I didn’t have to worry about the pool not being available

3. I could do as I pleased

4. I didn’t have to travel whilst in labour

5. My husband/partner wouldn’t have to leave me at night

6. I could have a hands off birth if I wished

7. I didn’t have to worry about child care

8. I could have who I liked there

9. The hospital doesn’t provide a natural environment

10. Hospitals are for illness or emergencies not normal birth

11. I wouldn’t have to worry about getting my own room / staffing issues

12 I had never been a patient in hospital before.

13. I could have access to real food

14. I could have an independent midwife

15. I could involve my other child/ren

16. I was worried about the labour being too quick to get to hospital

17.  I knew it was the safest place

18. I worked at the hospital and knew too many people!

19. I’m vegan so could actually have food at home

20. I’ve had 2 babies without pain relief so thought I would try at home

21. I am scared of hospitals, if not ill or visiting someone

22. I had a bad experience during first labour

These reasons are from real home birthing mums and were taken from a poll posted in our Facebook private discussion group

 

 

I often hear ‘A Home Birth? How brave!’ Giving birth at home is not brave. Lets look at how monkey mama does it – a cartoon by Cartoon Kate

August 8th, 2017

I often hear ‘A Home Birth? How brave!’ Giving birth is not brave, it’s normal.

This cartoon about birth explains how the process works and is designed to entertain and to inspire.

Continued at …….. Birth: How monkey mama does it – Cartoon Kate

If you like this please check out the rest of the book ‘Bump – How to make, grow and birth a baby – By Kate Evans

Home Births and Breastfeeding

July 30th, 2017

 

I half expected our first breastfeed to be like a scene out of Snow White

I planned my home birth meticulously, right down to what snacks I would have on offer for our visiting midwives. An area that I did neglect when putting together my birth plan, however, was breastfeeding. Call me naive or maybe overly optimistic, but with my rose tinted glasses on I half expected our first breastfeed to be like a scene out of Snow White.

his first ever feed was not from me!

When my baby boy arrived in August 2015 at 38 weeks I was presented with the opposite, my beautiful baby just didn’t know what to do and I had very little knowledge to help guide him. The Midwives did their best to help me but nobody could get my baby to latch, and due to some minor concerns surrounding his blood sugars his first ever feed was not from me! Our breastfeeding journey definitely had a rough start but I am pleased to say almost 2 years on we are still going strong!

If I were to plan my home birth again…

If I were to plan my home birth again, I would definitely dedicate an area on my birth plan to breastfeeding. I would also attend the one off breastfeeding session held at our local hospital (I attended this over a year later as a volunteer and found it so informative!). Another thing I would do is gather information on who can help if required. Looking at our local breastfeeding support there are 3 main types; NHS, Voluntary and Private.

Who can help?

  • NHS

    • Midwives

    • Health Visitors

    • Infant Feeding Specialists  –

      Hospital (referral via Midwife/Breastfeeding Support)
      Community (referral via Health Visitor/Breastfeeding Support)
  • Voluntary

  • Private – 

Other  helpful contacts are:

  • National Breastfeeding Helpline – Offering independent, confidential, mother-centred, non-judgmental breastfeeding support and information

  • Breastfeeding Network – Who offer a unique Drugs in Breastmilk line for mums and health professionals as well as support

  • KellyMom – Evidence based information on breastfeeding and parenting

  • iBreastfeed – An NHS Hull campaign to give parents in Hull the information and confidence to choose to breastfeed

  • Breastbuddies – A social media support group

One of the benefits of having a home birth is that you get to stay in the comfort of your own home, a slight negative of this though is not being able to press a buzzer when you need some help. Knowing the basics of how to latch your baby is valuable, as is knowing the signs that breastfeeding is going well.

Knowing the basics

I can not emphasise enough what a helpful guide this is: http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/newborn-nursing/, all mums to be should read it!!

Goodwin Support at home

Lastly, did you know that home birthing mums in Hull (HU1 – HU9) are able to access Goodwin Breastfeeding Support home visits? For further details please contact: Caroline Wiggins, Breastfeeding Peer Support Coordinator at Fenchurch Street Children’s Centre on (01482) 497800. Or email Caroline: cwiggins@goodwintrust.org.