Diabetes In Pregnancy – Reviewing The Review

What is diabetes in pregnancy / gestational diabetes? Diabetes in pregnancy or gestational diabetes is described as high blood sugar in pregnancy (that does not exist before pregnancy and goes away after pregnancy). Unfortunately, no one can agree on the right blood sugar levels for pregnant women. You get tested in one hospital and you might end up with a
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Black Mothers Matter – Maternal Deaths In UK and USA

Black Mothers Matter – Maternal Deaths In UK and USA By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Unless you’ve been living with your head under the duvet, you’ll know there are currently protests across the USA and UK regarding police brutality in North America. The horrific murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands (or rather, knee) of a white police officer,
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Teaching Legal Rights To Expectant Parents

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks First Published on www.birthworks.org Each week in my pregnancy and postnatal massage practice I find out from my clients that they’re being told they have to have an induction for various reasons that they don’t fully understand. Most are really unhappy and don’t want the procedure, but many are told they will be risking their baby if
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Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Book Review

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth – Ina May Gaskin Reviewed by Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Oh how I love this book! I much prefer this book to Spiritual Midwifery, only because it’s more readable for everyday women without the trippy language that was used in Spiritual Midwifery. I love Ina May’s term ‘Sphincter Law’ p.170 and all that it means. I think
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The Risks & Benefits Of Medical Procedures During Childbirth

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Here is a non-judgemental guide to the risks & benefits of the most common medical obstetric drugs and procedures used during childbirth. I’ve not included caesareans here as I’ll be writing another, more in depth, post about that. It’s important to be educated on the benefits and risks of medical procedures during childbirth so if faced with a situation
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The Best Breathing Technique For Labor

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Practise relaxed breathing as preparation for childbirth. During labour, breathing for relaxation is a very effective natural pain relief, reducing fear and anxieties and helping you to feel in control. The best breathing technique for labor? Follow your instincts, keep focusing on your breathing and it will automatically change to a more relaxed pace. Trust your body to
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29 Fascinating Facts About Oxytocin

by Samantha Thurlby-Brooks 1. Oxytocin is an ancient substance Oxytocin is a hormone that has “been present in the chain of animal development for millions of years… The fact that oxytocin has existed for such a long time… indicates that the substance is of fundamental importance and performs vital functions” (Dr Kerstin Uvnäs Moberg)  2. Oxytocin is found in all mammals This
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Is Massage Safe During Pregnancy?

I’ve been asked a few times whether the lactic acid released during massage is safe when you’re pregnant. Does it reach the unborn baby and what are the effects? Usually it’s concerned partners rather than women themselves that ask the question “Is massage safe during pregnancy?” Just recently I’ve been massaging a pregnant obstetrician who is a lecturer for Auckland
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The Lion Effect™ & Failure To Progress During Labour

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Humans, like any other animal who is preyed on, are sensitive to certain stimuli getting their adrenalin levels rising ready to fight or run and sometimes to freeze. I call this The Lion Effect™; when in times of stress or perceived stress a person will get themselves ready for danger to protect themselves or their young for
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How To Make The Right Choices In Childbirth

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Many people who are faced with birth complications will leave it up to their midwife or doctor to make decisions for them. This isn’t always a good thing to do. Why? Your doctor or midwife may be the most dedicated natural birth advocate (or not) but they are not allowed to make choices for you. They are
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Your Birth Rights In The NHS

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Knowing your legal birth rights in the NHS will help you have a more empowering birth experience. It’s important that both you and your partner fully understand your birth rights in the NHS so as you can make your own right choices. The rights that are most important during birth as found in the NHS Constitution, which is supported by UK
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How To Write A Birth Plan

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks How to write a birth plan? A good birth plan needs to be simple and easy to read. Midwives and obstetricians look after so many different people that to write too much will just get forgotten. Below is an example of a great birth plan for you to use and adapt as you see fit. I helped
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The Socially Accepted Violence Against Pregnant and Labouring Women

By Samantha Thurlby-BrooksToday Amnesty International and One Billion Rising are campaigning together for women’s rights. They are encouraging everyone across the world to support the elimination of violence against women and girls. I think in the light of recent events, such as the horrific Delhi gang rape that happened in December 2012, this day is much needed. We usually think
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Twins & Super Twin Pregnancy and Childbirth

“You’re having twins (or more)?! Double the trouble… Boys or girls? Are they identical? Do they look the same? Were they conceived naturally?”As a twin myself these are the questions that every single person asks when they find out… without fail (except for the conception question as that is kept just for the parents). There seems to be a deep
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Easy Labour Massage for Pain Relief During Childbirth

Massage during labour can either be completely relaxing and help speed up the process, or completely irritating and make the whole event last longer. So how do you know if you’re doing it right?Labour massage is very different from the type of massage you would get on a therapy bed and rightly so. During labour a woman needs to relax
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The Lion Effect™ During Childbirth

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Humans, like any other animal who is preyed on, are sensitive to certain stimuli getting their adrenalin levels rising ready to fight or run and sometimes to freeze. I call this The Lion Effect™; when in times of stress or perceived stress a person will get themselves ready for danger to protect themselves or their young for
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The most comfortable pregnancy sleeping position

By Samantha Thurlby-Brooks Most of my pregnant massage clients find it really hard to get comforable in bed until I teach them these great tips. Contrary to popular belief it is actually possible to get a comfortable night’s sleep when you’re pregnant. Here’s how… During pregnancy it’s important to lie on your side. This is because you have a main
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