Free Breastfeeding Workshop For Pregnant Ladies In Bournemouth

The Arcado Lounge, Christchurch, Tuesday 6th February, 17:30-19:00

This one and a half hour workshop will talk briefly about anatomy and physiology and the well-established benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby. We will discuss massage and hand expression (which you can start before baby is born), the composition of breast milk, how to hold baby, different feeding positions, how to look out for a good attachment and latch, feeding/sleep patterns, early relationship bonding, breast care, common problems and what support groups are available. Please click on the link to book your free place Eventbrite

Free Pregnancy Q & A’s Workshop in Bournemouth

The Arcado Lounge, Christchurch, Monday 6th November, 17:30-19:30pm.

Just found out you’re pregnant and have a million and one questions? Dont get confused trolling through all the different and conflicting information on the internet, come along and meet the experts Alex and Sam from The Naked Midwives who will put your mind at ease…

This free two hour workshop will talk briefly about anatomy and physiology of your changing body and will help you to understand the different trimesters and the stages of development of your growing baby. We will also focus on the lifestyle changes you may need to make including foods, medicines, caffeine, weight gain and healthy eating & exercise plans.  You will learn about early pregnancy symptoms, what is normal and what is not and how to cope with them or who to contact if you aren’t.

There will also be a discussion on current maternity services and birth choice to include when to expect to see your midwife, what screening is available, where to have your baby and what to do if you feel something is not right.

This workshop is aimed at pregnant couples between 12 and 20 weeks pregnant. You are more than welcome to come alone or bring along your birth partner (partner, mum, sister, friend).

Please book your free place through EventBrite


Folic Acid in Pregnancy

So, you’ve decided to have a baby! Congratulations.

I know you will be getting advice from everyone but here is just a short piece that will hopefully help you make some very good decisions for you and your baby.

In the first trimester of pregnancy your baby’s nervous  system is developing fast. It is known that folic acid (aka vitamin B9) is a vitamin that is crucial in the healthy development of the nervous system and good levels of folic acid greatly reduce the risk of birth defects such as spina bifida. It is one of a few vitamins that are best taken as a supplement even if you are being extra, extra good and going for a super healthy diet.  Here is this extract from the NHS referring to folic acid in pregnancy. The link for the full article is below.

    “Dietary sources of folic acid include green, leafy vegetables, brown rice, granary bread, and breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid. Always check the food labels. However, it would be almost impossible to get enough folic acid just from food – the only way to be sure you are getting the right amount is by taking a supplement.”

At our health store, we offer folic acid as a separate supplement or as part of a pregnancy multi-nutrient supplement. However, we now promote methylfolate instead for folic acid. Methylfolate is what our bodies turn folic acid into in order for this vitamin to be absorbed.  About a third of us have a genetic impairment that means that this conversion is not so efficient. For these pregnant women methyfolate is the best option.  For the rest of us methylfolate still means better, easier absorption which is always a plus!

Many women don’t particularly like to take supplements and I can understand this.  However just a few supplements are too important to dismiss. Folic acid is one of them.

I will be talking about the rest in my next blog.

Anna Hanson

The Bay Tree

Saxon Square, Christchurch

15 Penny’s Walk, Ferndown Shopping Centre


6 Things women should definitely know before going into labour or hospital.


The poo conversation…

The poo conversation… and we’re not talking about the rotund fury friend of piglet. There’s no sugar coating this, it’s common for women to open their bowels during labour. However, during the latent phase of labour (the early stages) it is often the case that your body will naturally empty the bowel, as most women will experience an upset stomach and this is indeed a positive sign that you may be going into labour.

If this is not the case then please don’t let this worry you or cause anxiety. For the normal physiological mechanics of labour to take place, it’s helpful to have any possible obstructions out of the way. In our experience midwives are very discrete, we don’t jump up and down waving a red flag we are just reassured that the baby now has more room to make their entrance.

It’s also a good idea to pre-warn birth partners and maybe ask them to kindly remain at the talking end as we can’t predict some people’s reactions if they are ill prepared!


Men and massage…

In recent years’ massage has proven to be effective in reducing pain in labouring women. This is common knowledge to most expectant parents and will be discussed within their birth plan wishes. This is something we cover and practice within our classes, practice being the operative word! This is the key factor when considering massage as method of pain relief. Techniques can easily be taught to birth partners however, men have to feel comfortable with this practice especially if it’s not something a couple are used to doing. You ladies will be pleased to hear that we suggest men practice massage techniques at home within the last few weeks of pregnancy so it doesn’t feel alien to all involved at the time it’s needed! Men can also feel a little embarrassed when massaging their partners in front of the midwife but believe me we are grateful for the help.


Everything but the kitchen sink…

There are 101 different lists on the internet that make suggestions on what to pack in your hospital bag! This is very simple…midwives need room to provide a safe environment to facilitate the birth of your pride and joy. We aren’t saying you can’t pack your matching nightie, dressing gown and bath mat, by all means you can, but this can remain in the car. In our experience the main items you will need during and immediately after birth are as follows – 1. Face cloth to cool your forehead during labour (this is often forgotten and you end up with mushed up, wet, NHS paper towel that absorbs the heat and become just damp and warm within seconds, slapped across your forehead) 2. Big, thick, heavy duty sanitary towels (labour can be a messy business as I’m sure you can imagine! So, don’t go for the ultra slim kind, they just don’t cut it and make you sweat!) 3. Pack of XL cheap pants (please no paper pants, no explanation needed!) 4. Laundry bag (for your soiled labour wear/underwear and not forgetting babies maybe tiny but they sure make a lot of mess) 5. Small toiletry bag containing basics plus lip balm and hairband. 6. Nappies and a hat for baby – as midwives we are advocates of skin to skin following birth and would encourage this where possible. Although it’s tempting, there is no rush to put baby into the fabulous outfit you’ve had hanging in the wardrobe for the past 3 months! Enjoy the time…enjoy the bonding, the hat is just to keep the head warm.


Shake that bump….

We are all aware the wonderful effects of gravity assist greatly in the journey that is childbirth. This is something that is easily recognised however, movement goes hand in hand with this but is not as frequently discussed. Think of gravity helping baby descend but negotiating the pelvis and birth canal can be described as round hole…square peg! Movement helps us remember our natural instinctive creativity and taking the space to move and breathe can lead us into a sense of ease and security – it’s something to lean back into!


Choosing the right antenatal class and the Latent Phase of labour……

Labour can be long and unpredictable especially for first time mums. To quote the great Shakespeare himself… “to climb steep hills takes a slow pace at first” this is why we feel choosing the right antenatal class is paramount. A class that focuses heavily on what we call the latent phase of labour (the early stages) can really get you started off on the right foot. There are lots of techniques that you and your birth partner can be shown to help you conquer the fight of flight sense of imbalance at the beginning of labour.  Get this stage right and the rest will follow….


Choose your birth partner wisely …..

As practising midwives, we regularly meet women on labour ward whose ideal birth has faded into what is now a scene from the latest horror movie!  We believe that to have choice you need to be truly informed and be aware of all possible eventualities.   Giving birth can be unpredictable yet we do not believe it needs to be scary and negative (whilst these may make more interesting stories!).


One of the first things we would hope you would consider is choosing your birth partner wisely.  It is important to remember your birth partner does not necessarily need to be your loved one.   In certain cases, this can only cause confusion and self-doubt.  When loved ones see each other in discomfort it can be a really difficult scenario, people will act out of character as there is little they can do.  Sometimes it is more beneficial for women to have the support of someone close who can focus solely on the job in hand!   As the song goes….’we all need somebody to lean on’.  In fact, let’s not forget, the dad will also call out to the birth partner for support.


Every couple will be different and we fully understand that some people will prefer a more intimate setting with just the two of them but we feel it’s important to ensure you know – you always have the choice!   Let’s face it, would you want Robbie Williams in your birth room singing about ‘angels’ when you are 10cm dilated!