The Honest Midwife

  1. Can you please advise on sleep positions in pregnancy

During the first few weeks it is OK to sleep as normal, but when you have a bump it is best to sleep on your side.

Whilst research shows there are benefits to sleeping on your left side, sleeping on either side is OK. You can read more on sleep positions on the NHS website.

For comfort you can try a pillow or cushion between your legs or a pregnancy pillow which cushions your bump and back

2. How soon after the birth should I start breastfeeding?

As soon as possible really. The first milk (colostrum) is really good for your baby, as it contains so many nutrients. When baby is placed on you after the birth it may feel like the most natural thing in the world to bring them to the breast and let them feed. But don’t worry if your baby doesn’t latch straight away. All babies are different. Just ask those looking after you for a little help if needed to get baby feeding.

3. Do you advocate colostrum harvesting and how should it be stored?

Colostrum harvesting is basically the process of hand expressing the first milk. I am an advocate of this as it can be helpful to have in the early days when you return home after having baby.

My class on a Wednesday evening talks about colostrum harvesting and all things infant feeding click here to book a class

4. Do you have any tips for an expectant mum who has been told she is expecting a very large baby

Try not to worry, your hospital will keep an eye on things, but if they think baby is growing too quickly they may advise induction of labour. My best advice is to relax, not worry and trust your midwifery team. Follow a healthy diet and continue with light exercise. For more information on induction of labour sign up to a Complex Labour & Birth class here

5. My three week old has dry skin on her legs; any recommendations?

I would suggest the old fashioned way of putting a little olive oil on it. I would not recommend using products, especially this early, but if you do want to use a product on the market be sure to check the ingredients carefully and that it can be used safely on newborns.

7. What is the best way to stop breastfeeding?

Slowly. It does depend on how long have been breastfeeding as to how long this should take. Don’t just stop, as this could cause discomfort and in some cases mastitis. Try to do it slowly over 3 or 4 weeks, dropping a lunch time feed first, then others

9. What does it mean when baby is back-to-back?

When baby enters the pelvis ready for delivery, the ideal position is that their head enters the pelvis with the back of its head and back against mum’s tummy. Around 10 – 15% of babies enter the pelvis with the back of their head and their spine against mum’s spine. Most back-to-back babies will be delivered completely normally, but it may be more difficult and take longer.

In the latter weeks of pregnancy try avoiding slouching on the sofa to help prevent this.

10. Membrane sweeps – where are they done, when and are they safe?

Membrane sweeps are generally done from 40 – 41 weeks, depending on your surgery or health centre. Generally they are safe, but there may be a slight chance of bleeding, but not significant – it may be just where the cervix has been caught. Also, it is possible that your waters could break. It is entirely your choice whether you have a sweep.

11. Do you have any tips to ease leg cramps during the night?

You can try some gentle stretches before getting into bed and during the night if you wake up. One of the best tips is to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. Join the lovely Carly at Let’s Talk Birth and Baby for a beautiful pregnancy yoga session which may help to settle those legs.

You can find answers to many commonly asked questions on the NHS website.