NO matter how much we think we prepare for the birth of our baby, it’s impossible to know every single detail involved in the birthing process.
The same can’t be said for our midwives though who are there to help guide mums along the way with these little-known tips and tricks.
Last month, we shared how new mum Shelby claimed her newborn smelled like shampoo before he'd even had a bath.
She was left stunned when she was told the reason why, and in a video shared on TikTok explained that the midwives “use it as lube.”
It’s not a method used in all hospitals though, and midwives often have their own unique ways of helping mums through labour and birth.
Odette Abououf, consulting independent midwife and co-founder of wellbeing range , 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.”
, who’ll speak at 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.
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“Your midwife has a whole bag of tricks and tips to help you and your baby on your journey through labour 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.”
While going through labour, your midwife might ask you to sit on the loo - and no, we aren’t talking about labour 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 maximise how low you move your baby with each effort.”
, author of Midwife Marley's Guide, says women can poop themselves while giving birth too - and they often don’t even realise.
She says: “We often have to wipe away poo before mum or partner even realise 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 labour 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.”
Odette Abououf, who specialises 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 labour,” 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.”
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.
In other baby news, this woman got pregnant with her second baby when she should have been 39 weeks with her first.