Local mama to little Arlo shares her experience with pregnancy, MGP and a beautiful natural labour at Cairns Hospital.
I had an amazing pregnancy and for the first time in my life I felt so comfortable within my body and really appreciated it for all that it is. Throughout my pregnancy I did a combination of gentle yoga and pregnancy yoga which helped with breathing techniques, stretching and being around beautiful women that were going through this journey with me. Otherwise I walked the dogs, occasionally did the stairs at work and did exercises on the yoga ball while watching TV at night. I do wish now that I would have focused on doing pelvic floor exercises.
I was in the MGP program (which was absolutely AMAZING)! The at home support before and after birth is the best. You feel like you are paying for private care but it's within the public system. Tip number one... as soon as you fall pregnant register to be in the MGP program (it books out fast as they can only cater for so many women).
Having the space set up so both Christian and I felt comfortable was really important to us. Christian was prepped for when we got to hospital to put on a chill playlist, set up twinkle lights, turn off the main lights and put lavender oil in the diffuser. This made us feel at home at a place that would normally feel quite clinical. Breathing was the most important coping mechanism for me, plus a combination of the shower on my back whilst sitting on a ball and the TENS machine.
I was in labour for around 12 hours. I was determined not to have any drugs as that was just a personal goal for me (however I was open to the fact that I would have to go with the flow if need be). There were moments where I started to think "how much longer”, "I can't do this" but kept reminding myself that it would soon be over and my bubba would be here.
I was fully dilated, jumped in the bath to have the beautiful water birth that I had been hoping for and... my contractions stopped. The midwife gave me some drugs to speed things back up. Bub’s heart rate was going down with each push so they had to suction my bub out, but he came out healthy and crying and I calmed him in my arms.
Breastfeeding was difficult for me at first. I had mastitis three times within the first few weeks and just wanted to give up. I am sooo glad that I was encouraged to push through because it's not only amazing for bubs but is so convenient and allows you to really connect. However in saying that don't put too much pressure on yourself as breastfeeding can be harder than the birth process.
My midwife visited our house daily for the first week which was so amazing. This allowed her to assist me with any breastfeeding questions, check my stitches and make sure our little Arlo was kicking goals. The after care with the MGP program was so amazing and so vital to me as a new mum.
Recommendations for new mums:
- Write out birth preferences so your midwife and partner are all on the same page.
- Watch breastfeeding videos and prepare yourself for that (not just the birthing process) as the after birth process can be harder then the birth
- Have lots of meals prepped
- Do your pelvic floor exercises