No matter how well we think we’ve prepared for the birth of our child, we can never know every single detail that will be involved. The same cannot be true of our midwives, who are available to support mothers throughout the journey by providing them with these unheard-of advice and techniques. We reported last month on how new mom Shelby said her child smelt like shampoo before taking a bath. She was shocked to learn the cause, which she later clarified in a video posted to TikTok by saying the midwives “use it as lubricant.” However, not all hospitals employ this technique, and midwives frequently have their own special techniques for supporting mothers throughout labor and delivery.
Odette Abououf, consulting independent midwife and co-founder of wellbeing range Mummy’s Organics, explained: “Your midwife may feel that your perineum is not stretching around your baby’s head. “She may decide to use a lubricant or gently stretch your perineum with gloved hands to help encourage the area to stretch.”
Midwife Pip Davies, who’ll speak at The Baby Show in March, tells Fabulous: “The day your baby is born- so much more than just one day in your life. Your birth is the creation of lifelong memories and can even shape how smooth your journey into motherhood is.
“Your midwife has a whole bag of tricks and tips to help you and your baby on your journey through labor and birth and I believe that ALL women should feel like superwoman when they birth their baby regardless of how that may be for them.” Loo Knew While going through labor, your midwife might ask you to sit on the loo – and no, we aren’t talking about labor pooping here, although that does happen too.
Pip explains: “When it comes to pushing your baby out, the same muscles are engaged as you use when pooping.
“So mimicking this natural position is really useful in making sure you use your energy effectively when pushing and maximize how low you move your baby with each effort.” Midwife Marley Hall, author of Midwife Marley’s Guide, says women can poop themselves while giving birth too – and they often don’t even realize.
She says: “We often have to wipe away poo before mum or partner even realize what’s happening.” On the same sage Midwives are there to help you feel relaxed and comfortable and there are a few ways to help with this. “Aromatherapy oils are growing in popularity in the birth room and clary sage is one to be aware of,” Pip says.
“This powerful essential oil is thought to help boost oxytocin levels and therefore promote contractions which support labor progress. “There are some contraindications for clary sage use, but your midwife will be able to advise on this specific to you and your baby. “It isn’t the sweetest smelling essential oil though so often it is combined with a scent like lavender or sweet orange.” Horsing around Odette Abououf, who specializes in natural births, says there are a few other hacks she uses too – but don’t worry if you feel a bit silly.
“Blowing through the top of an empty water bottle can help your body to open up and progress during the second stage of labor,” she explains. Adding: “We often get women to do horse lips too. This is when you blow through closed loose lips and make the sound a horse would. It keeps your cervix relaxed and allows you to progress.”
Oh bummer! Marley, a mum-of-five herself, says: “A rectal examination takes place after birth to check for internal tearing.” What’s more, midwives often become “protective of the birth space and we don’t allow just anyone to wander in and out of the room,” Marley explains.