Empowering Birth Presentation



Having a Doula may be so beneficial for both the birthing person and their birth partner. Everyone needs support irrespective of which ever setting you are choosing to birth in.

So I imagine that the quiz maybe has opened up Pandora’s box where you have more questions … you’ll find the answers below with links to resources. I’ll try to explain as best I can. The way they are phrased will make you stop and think.

A mother does not have to push while forceps are used? FALSE

An episiotomy must be done before forceps or ventouse are used FALSE

If ventouse is not successful, forceps will always work FALSE

Forceps can sometimes cause small indentations on the baby’s head TRUE

Ventouse/vacuum can cause a caput on a baby’s head TRUE
What is a caput?

Instrumental deliveries can sometimes injure the mother TRUE

A mother must be in stirrups to have forceps/vacuum/ventouse FALSE

Forceps, Ventouse/vacuum are not available at home births TRUE

Forceps are commonly used to lift a baby out during a caesarean birth FALSE
However they can be used when they are required maybe to release one shoulder.


External signs of how labour is progressing …


External lines of dilation

Hormones of Birth

Positions for Labour & Birth



No doubt you have gone to social media and you tube … be mindful of what you watch as there are lots of great resources … like the one I am about to share but listen carefully to the language used … delivering a baby actually YOU ARE GIVING BIRTH
The stages of labour & what is happening in your body … how labour can begin and what initiates this … remember the BABY is in charge. They initiate the hormonal response in your body and this trigger is needed for labour to start. Again this is key when discussing options around Induction.

This is informative and may be of interest. Please don’t take the timings etc as gospel every baby and birth is different.

There are lots of resources that you can dip into and out of … be very careful what you watch as somethings can be very triggering … on the Osmosisi channel there are several other informative videos for pregnancy. Please do pop back to here when you are ready …


This I am particularly passionate about.  Those that had a little read of the “About” section will have had a little glimpse of the journey we had to becoming parents.  That our first baby was born by emergency caesarean and that our second was a VBAC birth.  This was very important to me and I learnt very quickly during that journey who I actually wanted  in my Circle of Trust … Robert De Niro I coined that phrase well before you said it in the film, Meet the Fockers … 

So be really aware of who you want to support you, who you want to be present with you when you are giving birth.  Do you want your partner there?  Do they want to be there?  Do you need another person?  If you have a sister or your mother would they be appropriate to support you – no disrespect but sometimes they aren’t what you need when you are in this intimate environment.  Do you want to chat to a doula about how they could support you and your partner?  They aren’t there to replace your partner but to hold that sacred space around your journey to parent hood.  Do you want someone who has experienced a VBAC themselves?  

What happens if those in your Circle of Trust aren’t supportive of your choices?  Ask them why?   If it’s your community midwife then she may need to highlight this is an area that she isn’t comfortable with, she should not try to coerce you with er opinion but should present the facts and signpost you to where you can find the information that you need in our to support you.  
The same can be said about family and friends.  They are all going to have an opinion … do you really need the seeds of negativity planted to undermine you?  You are not being rude or aggressive or blinkered if they are outside your Circle of Trust and you choose not to include them in your conversations about what your thoughts are about how YOU would like to give birth.  

The following video you may find helpful.


Also joining the support groups that exist

Birth environment
Where to give birth
Birth Centre

Birth Partners

Independent midwives
NHS care

Birth Wishes

Word document
visual birth plans

Gestational Diabetes
Group Strep B




Caesarean Sections

Your options
Semi-Elective when being induced or in early labour
Emergency section

Support groups:

Video of quadruplets being born by caesarean … shared on instagram by the Pregnant Story instagram page 12/11/2020 … absolutely stunning footage of a quads caesarean birth … educational for the patience and honouring the journey of each of these babies …

Note the encaul birth and the cord around the neck plus the double knot of the cord …


Gentle Caesarean

Back in 2017 I was blown away when a gentle cesarean video was shared within the birth community. It very quickly went viral … it was just amazing. It was of a little one being born by gentle section, more or less completely hands off except for releasing the shoulders but it was fabulous to see Consultants embracing this gentle way that was less traumatic. I’m sharing here for information as Andy Simm and his amazing team at Nottingham Hospital facilitate this gorgeous arrival earth side.

Many are probably trying to work out why it’s gentle especially if you’ve never seen a caesarean birth before. Usually the screen is up and dad sits at the head of mum. Baby is born, dad stands up and looks or take a quick photo, or the baby is popped over the top of the drape for mum to quickly see and then they are taken over to the warming table to check they are ok. Eventually coming back wrapped in a blanket and snuggled into mum or dad.

The difference with a gentle is that the screen isn’t there, the mum is positioned so that she can see her baby walking themselves out, it’s a family centred experience and it facilitates immediate skin to skin and all checks can be done on mum and baby can also have delayed cord clamping. Baby is still skin to skin whilst they stitch mum back up therefore ensuring that at least the first 45 minutes of your baby being earth side they are benefiting from the wonderful Oxytocin and the other concoction of hormones that are at their peak in the first hour after birth. For further information on the first hour after birth please see the relevant section.

When I was approached by a lovely local client asking for further information this is who and what I shared with her and an amazing Consultant was prepared to explore the option for her and to facilitate. The very first gentle at Northampton General Hospital which the family were able to photograph but not video.


What happens right after the baby is born?
This may occur  depending on how things have gone.

  • Suctioning
  • Cord cutting – when and what options are there?
  • Measuring

APGAR Score – what are these and what do they mean
Score to indicate strength of baby in terms of

heart rate   breathing   muscle tone  reaction to stimulus  skin colour

Done At birth and then Five minutes later
e.g. Scores could be 7 at birth and 10 at 5 minutes

Cutting the cord
This can be done by either parent.  Unless there is an emergency then it is hoped that the caregiver will honour delayed cord clamping and wait for the cord to finish pulsating, you may need to request that the cord is massaged from mother to baby so that they receive all the blood.  

Understanding delayed cord clamping is important.


Sometimes if the cord needs to be cut quickly in case of an emergency or perhaps if it is an elective, emergency or gentle caesarean then the cord could be cut slightly longer for the chosen person to then have the honour of cutting the cord later on.  

There are other alternatives to cutting the cord.  
You may choose to have a lotus birth where the baby and placenta stay in tact and the cord then disconnects from the baby naturally a few days after birth.  
Alternatively instead of cutting the cord you may like to birth with the placenta intact and then burn the cord.  This is a sacred ceremony honouring the journey of the mother-baby-placenta triad or trinity. 

Other things they might undertake (depends on country – Eye Care, Blood tests, Bathing)
Here in the UK measurements are taken – weight and head circumference rarely is a baby’s length measured at birth.  This may be done with the health visitor.

Other things that might be undertaken.
They will be given a Heel Prick test with the health visitor and if birthing in the hospital and you have stayed in they may arrange for the baby to have their hearing test before you go home.  Or this may be arranged as an outpatient appointment if you have been discharged or birthed at home.  


Which – Where to give birth

Better Births Review

NHS England

Births in England & Wales 2018

NHS Maternity Statistics 2017-2018