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Preparing For Birth in 2021 (Tips From The Experts)

Pregnant woman with baby bump

Amanda Thompson knows a thing or two about preparing for birth. She has supported hundreds of families who are preparing for the big day, in all manner of circumstances. Whether it’s a home birth, an elective C-Section, a delivery in a midwife led unit or even a surprisingly early birth in an unexpected location, Amanda has helped women through it all. She is a qualified Antenatal teacher, and one of the founders of Bundle - a group of experts who offer antenatal and postnatal courses, baby massage classes, paediatric first aid classes and more, all face to face in London or online on Zoom.

Amanda is also a mother of five, including two sets of twins! She has kindly shared her knowledge and advice with us today, with a list of expert tips for preparing for birth, gathered from the collective knowledge of over a decade of women giving birth with her support.

  1. This has been a difficult year for everybody, but especially for those facing pregnancy and birth for the first time. COVID guidelines have meant some changes to the usual NHS procedures, and our Bundle mums have shared with us how things are different in their hospital. Make sure you attend all of your antenatal appointments, as they are vital for monitoring the health of you and your baby. Some antenatal appointments are being held over the phone or by video conference, with others taking place face to face as usual. Your midwife will advise how this is being handled by your local NHS Trust.
  2. If you experience any COVID symptoms or test positive do inform your Midwife or antenatal team, they will give you personalised advice relevant to your pregnancy. The good news is that the NHS say that there's no evidence that pregnant women are more likely to get seriously ill from coronavirus, and there's no evidence coronavirus causes miscarriage or affects how your baby develops in pregnancy. Read here for more details
  3. Now, more than ever, it’s important to build a great support network around you. Many new parents have sadly felt isolated recently due to the cancellation of baby classes and events, which has meant that they have missed out on meeting other parents to share their experience with. Attending antenatal classes can be a great way to meet others going through the same things as you and make lifelong friends. Bundle’s classes run both face to face and in small groups on Zoom, so even if you can’t attend a real world event you can continue to learn from the experts in the company of other like minded mums to be. Bundle also arrange baby’s first playdate after all the babies in the group are born!
  4. Involve your partner as much as possible from the beginning – giving birth is team work! Many hospital trusts are now allowing pregnant women to have one person with them during scans and labour again. Do check with your local trust to find out their latest COVID procedures in relation to both your antenatal appointments and labour.
  5. Consider your birthing options – where to have your baby. Get the information that you need to make the decision that is right for you.  Hospital? Birthing unit or home birth? Ask your midwife for all of the options available at the moment and ask around to see what other Mums in your area did and what they thought of the care they received. Have a Plan B in mind in case virus restrictions change!
  6. Eat well. There is no need to eat for two but do ensure that your diet is balanced and that you are getting all the nutrients you and your baby need.  A mixture of Fruit/veg; carbs and protein.  Try to eat two pieces of fish a week, one of which should be an oily fish such as salmon, sardines or mackerel. 
  7. Have your hospital bag packed from 35 weeks to avoid any unnecessary panic if your little one decides to arrive a little early.
  8. Do get your baby car seat fitted ahead of the day, ready to take baby home.
  9. It’s a good idea to get your freezer nicely stocked up with pre-prepared food, so that you have lots of yummy food at hand which doesn’t take much prep.
  10. Avoid scary birth stories and stop Googling!

Being pregnant during these unprecedented times can be really worrying. So do talk to your caregivers about any concerns that you have and to ask your hospital trust about their latest coronavirus policies.

If you still have any questions about preparing for birth, don’t hesitate to get in touch directly with Amanda and the Bundle team. https://www.bundlelondon.com/


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