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Advice during upcoming doctors’ industrial action (19-22 September & 2-5 October 2023)

Industrial action by hospital consultants and junior doctors is scheduled to take place between 19-22 September and 2-5 October. Some of our services may be impacted.

Unless you are advised otherwise, please attend the hospital as normal for any appointments or procedures. 

Further details and advice during these periods can be found HERE.

by Anna

Community Midwife - Birth Plan (week 35)

Back to the community midwife for a further check. We know the drill by now. In addition to the usual stuff we also completed a 36 week form which is goes through the birth preferences and that kind of jazz.

I was given my options...Basically as everything was going to plan, and Little One was classed as low risk,  I could have her wherever I wanted within reason. The main choices were the main hospital, the Midwife Led Unit, or at home.

As the placenta is now in a good position and I know that I am not having a broad shouldered baby with a giant head I am happy to aim for a natural birth. Ideally I would like to have Little One in water.

I'd previously seen both the hospital birthing pool and the portable variety that you can use for a home birth. Although the home pools look far softer on the knees I can’t think of anything less relaxing than having a baby at home… Daddy would get stressed about the mess and no doubt the doorbell/ phone would ring at some inappropriate time.

As things stand we’re going to opt for the Midwife Led Unit (and birthing pool) as plan A.
The greater detail of the birth plan is along the lines of:-

  1. I will try to stay chilled out. Any questions will be dealt with by Daddy who is also in charge of making sure I drink plenty and remember to pee.
  2. Gas and air - Yes please.
  3. All other drugs – yes please if I need them except an epidural...
  4. Epidural – I'm a bit scared of this. In particular I think foreceps look a bit scary and I’ve heard that you are more likely to need foreceps if you have an epidural so it is a “no” for now, but let’s discuss it later if necessary.
  5. C-section – I'm not so keen on being cut open but if Little One is showing signs of distress or is likely to get distressed I want her out asap. If the nearest exit is situated to the front of the bump then so be it.
  6. Episiotomy – Ouch sounds both revolting and painful all at once. But, if a tear is looking likely then I'd rather a clean cut (sorry too much information).
  7. Delivery of placenta – Once Little One has been cut off I’m happy to have the drug to help the placenta deliver if it is recommended.
  8. Skin to skin – If for any reason I can't do skin to skin with Little One then Daddy is to do it. (Daddy is opposed to this. Initially he was happy to do skin to skin but then when he heard that they don’t clean the baby first he freaked out. He had just better hope I’m good to have the first cuddles or that he has a spare shirt in the hospital bag!)

Clinical Comment

 Simon Mehigan Consultant Midwife

Birth plans……I love them!

The key to a good birth plan is to keep an open mind. Nobody knows how you're going to feel on the big day or what’s going to happen....your baby could have a whole different plan which you obviously won't know about!

My tips for a devising a birth plan that should help on the big day would include:

  • Less is more, the more you put in your plan the more chance the really important stuff will be missed
  • Keep your options open
  • Say what is really worrying you so that the staff can address it if it arises
  • Be clear who will be with you 
  • Highlight anything that really important i.e. discovering the sex of the baby yourself

Always remember that sometimes the plan goes out of the window but even then you should feel informed and involved in what's happening.

Most importantly try not to worry about it all too much, the staff that look after you all want you to have a positive experience and will do all they can to facilitate that.

Do you have a question for Anna or Simon? If so please email us at or alternatively use the feedback tool at the bottom of this page.

08 February 2013