ABC Birth & Beyond

Welcome to ABC Birth & Beyond. Midwife Led Antenatal Education, Hypnobirth, Baby Massage and Doula Services. Available for bespoke one to one and group classes.

Operating as usual

14/05/2023

So excited to be setting up this much needed support group for new parents in Woking 🥰

Photos from Shepperton Chiropractic Clinic's post 12/05/2023
04/05/2023

Just a quick reminder about normal sleep patterns in babies and toddlers. It's totally normal for young children to wake up multiple times during the night and to need connection with their caregivers overnight. This is a natural part of their development and helps them feel safe and secure.

So if your little one is waking up frequently or needs your comfort during the night, don't worry! It's completely normal and just means they are growing and learning. Remember to take care of yourself too and don't hesitate to reach out for support if you need it. You're doing a great job!

24/04/2023

Beautiful 😍

When pregnant, the cells of the baby migrate into the mothers bloodstream and then circle back into the baby, it’s called “fetal-maternal microchimerism”.⁠
For forty one weeks, the cells circulate and merge backwards and forwards, and after the baby is born, many of these cells stay in the mother’s body, leaving a permanent imprint in the mothers tissues, bones, brain, and skin, and often stay there for decades. Every single child a mother has afterwards will leave a similar imprint on her body, too.

Even if a pregnancy doesn't go to full term or if you have an abortion, these cells still migrate into your bloodstream.

Research has shown that if a mother's heart is injured, fetal cells will rush to the site of the injury and change into different types of cells that specialize in mending the heart.

The baby helps repair the mother, while the mother builds the baby.
This is often why certain illnesses vanish while pregnant.
It’s incredible how mothers bodies protect the baby at all costs, and the baby protects & rebuilds the mother back - so that the baby can develop safely and survive.

Think about crazy cravings for a moment. What was the mother deficient in that the baby made them crave?

Studies have also shown cells from a fetus in a mothers brain 18 years after she gave birth. How amazing is that?”

If you’re a mom you know how you can intuitively feel your child even when they are not there….Well, now there is scientific proof that moms carry them for years and years even after they have given birth to them.

We find this to be so very beautiful.
🌿

17/04/2023

I am so excited to be setting up a Parent Support Group in Woking! Still in planning stages, but venue and days confirmed! Currently looking for volunteers on a rota and/or for donations of baby equipment such as play mats, blankets, cushions, toys etc... or are you able to occasionally make a cake to donate?

New parents and parents-to-be can feel so isolated and since Covid and lockdowns the support that was once available is no longer there! This group will be there to support families with friendship in a welcoming and non-judgemental environment and will be FREE to access!

Please let me know if you can help in any way or have any ideas how to advertise and set it up!

Love Donna # #

14/03/2023

No unreal fantasies!

shared from The Analytical Armadillo

16/02/2023

Very interesting read 💜

The impact of swaddling upon breastfeeding: A critical review

New study published 14th February found infants swaddled immediately after birth show a delay in initial breastfeeding, less successful suckling at the breast, reduced intake of breastmilk and greater weight loss compared to un-swaddled babies.

Swaddling visually obscures feeding cues and reduces crying, thereby eliminating two key feeding prompts typically used by parents/carers.

As swaddled babies cry less, and are fed less frequently than un-swaddled babies some clinical trials position swaddling as a ‘novel weight regulation tool’ to combat obesity. However, in the case of breastfed babies, by reducing feed frequency swaddling may impede maternal milk production and thereby infant growth.

https://doi.org/10.1002/ajhb.23878

13/02/2023

YES!

11/02/2023

Exactly this 👇

14/12/2022

A helpful visual for pregnant Cheese Lovers out there 🧀💜

10/12/2022

Thank you Secret Santa...you know me so well 🍨🍨 😍😂💜

30/11/2022

This is absolutely brilliant! Exactly my practice and encouragement when with birthing people 🥰💜

05/09/2022

💜

I'm not anti-induction.

And neither are most of the people who will share this post with you.

In fact, there are some really good reasons to induce labour.

I wrote about some of those in a blog post a few months ago. I explained what I see as good reasons for induction. And I also listed the reasons for induction that I would consider to be questionable.

Because, sometimes, induction is offered or recommended for less-than-good reasons.

Convenience, fear or a lack of trust in the female body. In fact, those of us who work in birth-related areas see many unnecessary inductions. We also see the negative consequences that can sometimes result.

That's why we discuss it and want everyone to make the decision that's right for them.

Once they have ALL the facts.

You can read my blog posts about good reasons to induce labour at https://www.sarawickham.com/articles-2/are-there-good-reasons-to-induce-labour/

It offers links to many others as well as the books that I have written on this topic.

And yes, please feel free to share/repost our pic with our text, credit and link intact. Please don't put Sara's material into your own branding.

23/08/2022

They may be very popular, but baby sleep pods and nests go against our advice that babies should sleep on a firm, entirely flat surface, and can increase the risk of SIDS by making it harder for babies to maintain a safe temperature. We don’t recommend you use them for your baby to sleep in.

Unfortunately we cannot comment on the safety of individual brands, as we don’t carry out any testing or research on products.

11/08/2022

Container Syndrome is a term used to describe the lack of skill in infants who are not allowed ample movement opportunities. Container Baby Syndrome is the result of an infant being placed in a container for an excessive amount of time during the day. This extended time leads to structural, movement, and behavioral challenges as a result.

Baby containers include baby equipment and items such as:

👣Restrictive playpens
👣Crib
👣Car seats
👣Strollers
👣Bumbo seats
👣Bouncy seats and swings
👣Rockers
👣Nursing cushions
👣Vibrating chairs
👣Jumpers
👣Exersaucers
👣Positioning pillows
👣Slings
👣Floor seats
👣Infant swings
👣Walkers
👣Jumpers

All of the time spent in these baby containers adds up! When in a positioning device such as the ones listed above, little ones are limited in the motor development that results from stretching, wiggling, turning, reaching, and otherwise moving.

https://www.theottoolbox.com/container-baby-syndrome/

01/08/2022

Thought for the day:

If you put a handful of popcorn into the same pot, into the same oil and heat it all to the exact same temperature, it doesn’t all pop at the exact same moment.

Same with labour, birth and babies.

Be an individual.

Pop in your own time 😆😊

(For more evidence-based conversations about the timing of birth, see www.sarawickham.com/time)

28/07/2022

A funny thought for Thursday 💜

Timeline photos 22/07/2022

Postnatal Support is Essential yet so desperately lacking in our society. Do get in touch if you would like to discuss Mother-Midwife led Doula support 💜

15/07/2022

Every.Time 💜

15/07/2022

💜

"When we insist that pregnancy length is fixed and not fluid, when we force women to follow due dates defined by machines and not their own bodies, when we constantly prioritise medical definitions over women's own instincts, we undermine a vital source of information and a well of trust."

I wrote that to try to explain a huge problem that we have today.

Our knowledge about our bodies is being undermined by the very systems and advances that we have created to try and help ourselves.

Our technologies and machines are wonderful when they are really needed.

But they are overused.

And when we pay more attention to their output and stop looking at the bigger picture (including our own knowledge about our bodies), we can do more harm than good.

Over the years, I have talked to many women who have personal stories about this.

Some women have known the exact date they conceived because their partner was stationed abroad and they only saw him for one weekend in three months.

Others had IVF and also knew the exact date of conception.

Yet they were told that "the dating scan knows best" and they had to battle the system because the date calculated by a machine was given more credit than their own knowledge.

They weren't believed.

My website contains lots of information about normality, due dates and induction of labour and I have written two books about this: Inducing Labour: making informed decisions and In Your Own Time: how western medicine controls the start of labour and why this needs to stop.

Find out more at www.sarawickham.com/iol

04/07/2022

A worthwhile read 💜

“Since the implementation of screening and prophylaxis guidelines for group B streptococcus (GBS) in the early 1990s there has been considerable advancement in scientific knowledge about the gut microbiome and its role in both health and disease processes.

Research assessing early influences during the development of the infant gut microbiome has advanced considerably in the last 15 years. It is now widely accepted that early introduction of antibiotics in infancy is associated with increased risk for illness later in life.” (Garcia 2021).

This is from a review published in the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health. It looked at antibiotics given to prevent GBS disease and the risks that this poses to babies.

The reviewer found that, “Among vaginally born infants, IAP [antibiotics given in labour to women who are carrying the group B strep bacteria] appears to change the developing microbiome for up to 6 months following exposure. Specifically, IAP alters the microbial counts of the organisms that first colonize the gut, contributing to a decrease in commensal bacteria and a persistence of potentially pathogenic bacteria.” (Garcia 2021)

This confirms the importance of thinking carefully about interventions relating to the screening and prevention of GBS.

Interventions can cause harm as well as good, and the risks and benefits need to be weighed up carefully.

You can see the research study at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jmwh.13245

If you’d like more information on GBS, I have an information hub on my website, and I have also written a book on this topic, Group B Strep Explained.

(Look for the edition with the burgundy colour and the signpost on the front – the UK guidelines have significantly changed and more evidence emerged since I wrote the original, which is why I wrote the new edition in 2019).

To find out more, visit www.sarawickham.com/gbse

04/07/2022

💜

23/06/2022

ASK The questions!! And remember BRAIN 💜

What are the best questions to ask if you're offered induction of labour?

As a midwife who has researched and written about induction of labour for more than two decades, I get asked that quite a bit.

Especially as I have a fundamental belief that there is no one 'right' path for everyone.

Twenty years before anyone hashtagged , I was promoting that very idea to women and families.

One size doesn't fit all.

You need to decide what's right for you.

And in order to do that, you might need to ask some questions.

So I have put together this guide to the five best questions that you can ask in order to get more information and make the decisions that are right for you.

I'm also going to tell you what can you learn from the answers you are given.

You can find my blog post at https://www.sarawickham.com/articles-2/five-questions-to-ask-if-youre-offered-induction-of-labour/

There's a link to my website in my insta bio as well.

I hope you'll find it useful.


21/06/2022

Exactly this 👇💜

All of these… everyday.
Sometimes simultaneously. 🤷‍♀️



Timeline photos 05/06/2022

🙋‍♀️yep hands up it's difficult, but so, so rewarding 💜

Is it just us?

03/06/2022

Very important advice here. Trust your intuition and don't delay seeking help. Maternity is a 24/7 service. 💜

We are always here for you and it’s never a bother or too much trouble or that you will be wasting anyone’s time - we want to see you if you are worried

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ABC Birth & Beyond

ABC Birth & Beyond is a regeneration of ABC Baby Massage, now also offering Midwife led Antenatal Education and Hypnobirth classes.

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