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The Modern Midwife's Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond: How to Have a Healthier Pregnancy, Easier Birth and Smoother Postnatal Period

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Milli Hill is the founder of The Positive Birth Movement, a global network of antenatal discussion groups that championed positive births for all women. The groups aimed to create spaces for women to consider what they really wanted from their childbirth experience and to challenge any fears or negative expectations they might have. I loved The Positive Breastfeeding Book by Amy Brown. She is a leading researcher into infant feeding and firmly places women, informed choice and evidence at the centre of her work.” (Recommended by Mumsnet user OakleyStreetisnotinChelsea)

How serious do you want to be?: How much information is too much information? Would you rather know all the facts and go in prepared, or is highlighting risks and complications likely to heighten your anxiety? Choose the right level of detail for you. It’s important to remember that childbirth by its very nature is unpredictable.Whether it's hormones or hypnobirthing, stretch marks or swollen ankles, it's always reassuring to know YANBU when moaning about your pregnancy ailments. Very factual, evidence-based, none of the patronising stuff a lot of pregnancy books have, and pretty balanced views on things too.” (Tried and tested by Mumsnet user Lola871) What are your preferences?: You may already have some opinions and preferences about the pregnancy and birth experience you want, and this may dictate the kind of book that's right for you. If you have your heart set on a natural labour, a hypnobirthing book may be the obvious choice, whereas if you already know you're going to bottle feed, the breastfeeding specialism options may be ones to avoid. Postnatally, some with hEDS/HSD can struggle to recover from birth, both physically and psychologically ( Pezaro et al, 2020). For example, tissues compromised by hEDS/HSD can be problematic to heal ( Hakim and Grahame, 2003; Hakim and Sahota, 2006; Castori, 2012). Our previous review also highlighted specific complications in relation to abnormal scar formation, haemorrhage, pelvic prolapses which may be associated with episiotomy, deep venous thrombosis, complicated perineal wounds, and coccyx dislocation ( Pezaro et al, 2018). Complicated lacerations and increased episodes of postpartum haemorrhage have also been reported elsewhere ( Volkov et al, 2018), along with further episodes of coccyx dislocation and separation of the pubic symphysis ( Gilliam et al, 2020). Healthcare practitioners should be aware of the risk of these potential complications, along with the potential for increased risk of urogenital and pelvic complications such as recurrent urinary tract infections or incontinence, and gynaecological symptoms such as pain or prolapse ( Gilliam et al, 2020). As in the antenatal period, early physiotherapy based interventions along with early input from the multidisciplinary team may be useful in the management of such complications.

It's worth noting, however, that hypnobirthing does not guarantee a natural labour if that's what you want - unfortunately you can’t prepare for every eventuality and medical intervention is sometimes required. That said, using these techniques can help you feel calmer and more prepared about the prospect of giving birth.Since completing the NCT Birth and Beyond course, I have been given the opportunity to volunteer at one of our local feeding clinics. This has been so helpful, not only in giving me more confidence in putting everything I have learnt in to practice but also an insight of how useful this programme could be for mums and family’s in our community. - Jo, Fenland The use of the EDS Maternity Tool may support both parents and maternity staff in evidence-based decision making and care planning as part of a multidisciplinary approach

Our volunteers, who will have experienced the challenges of being a mother, are trained to support other local mothers in one-to-one and groups settings. They can support women at any time from pregnancy through to their child’s second birthday. In this interview, Jacqui shares her diverse and personal experience as a mother, including motherhood and work, creativity, and tuning in to your own wisdom in a world saturated with information. We also discuss Jacqui’s book ‘Mothers Mind Cleanse’ and hear about her own impetus and writing process. Enjoy this conversation I would definitely recommend Hypnobirthing: Practical Ways to Make Your Birth Better by Siobhan Miller (founder of the Positive Birth Company). I was absolutely TERRIFIED of giving birth but [this book has] made me feel much more empowered and positive, even a little bit excited now!"(Recommended by Mumsnet user NicNac100) Our verdict The service is currently available to pregnant women or mothers with a child under the age of two living in one of the following areas: Whilst not the most detailed of texts, and covering mostly pregnancy and pre-birth content, this is a lighthearted and informative read suitable for even the most reluctant of readers.

With so many pregnancy books to choose from it can be hard to know where to start. Here’s some things to take into account when making your choice:

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