Thursday, 10 May 2012

midwife & NCT update

It was a busy day yesterday: I had my 31 week midwife appointment and my NCT class on the same day. I thought I would write a quick blog post to say how they went otherwise knowing me and my baby brain I will completely forget the details by the weekend.

The midwife appointment was in the morning before work and it went well. Everything was "normal" according to the midwife. From the scribbles she put in my maternity notes I can make out that my blood pressure was 100/60; fundus height was 31 cm; position was "ceph"; and fetal heart-rate was 148 bpm.

I think ceph stands for cephalic, which means head-down. She also wrote that baby was "free" which I think means he is not engaged overall everything seems fine for being 31 weeks. My next appointment is at 34 weeks and is scheduled for 30th May. 

NCT class last night was all about pain relief. It was good to go through all the different types of pain relief available, but it was scary too! We discussed all the options available from natural things like hot baths and massage all the way up to the hard core options of epidurals and opiates.  For each type of pain relief we went through the pros & cons.

I found out that the medical options for pain relief at my hospital will be Gas & Air (aka Entonox), Pethidine (aka Demerol); or an Epidural. I wasn't aware about all the negative side effects that some of these drugs can have and it scared me a little. For instance, Pethidine crosses over the placenta, effecting your baby and potentially making him "drugged" for a day or two after birth. 

We also talked about something called a TENS machines, which I didn't know much about. I'm thinking about getting one because it's a natural way to deal with early stages of labour and can be used in combination with Gas & Air. If anyone has used a TENS machine in labour I would love to hear about your experiences.

I decided after the class that my favourite options at the moment are hot water, TENS machine and Gas & Air. But I'm not going to rule out any of the more hard-core options completely because who knows how I will feel once the contractions start.


  1. All sounds very exciting. I used a tens machine for my first baby, I had mixed feelings about it. It went from being slightly comforting as a distraction more than anything to really irritating. I loved the gas and air!!!! I only ever had gas and air and pethidine on my first. All the rest I just had gas and air and a good grasp on the bed rail! I did have a hot bath half way through birth 1 and that was really comforting - they gave me a mobile gas and air machine. Good luck and just have what you want, don't listen to anyone else it is what makes the experience an enjoyable one for you. Every birth is different and every person is different - just be prepared to go with the flow and be flexible with your options! Do you know if you are having a girl or a boy or will it be a surprise?

    1. I have heard that a TENS machine can be quite irritating - I'm still not sure if I will buy one yet, but I suppose it can't hurt to try. I agree that the most important thing is to just go with the flow. I don't want to have a strict birth plan because everyone has told me that childbirth hardly ever goes to plan. We are having a little boy and we are super excited!!