food to avoid during pregnancy

Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Eating well-balanced meals is important at all times, but it is even more essential when you are pregnant. There are essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your developing baby needs. Most foods are safe; however, there are some foods that you should avoid during pregnancy.

Cravings are quite normal during pregnancy, thanks to the hormonal surge. But you cannot indulge in everything as you must have a balanced diet. While most foods could be safe to include in your daily menu, there are many that should not be had.Certain foods should only be consumed rarely, while others should be avoided completely.

Here a small list with the most important foods you should avoid meanwhile you are pregnant!

Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

High mercury fish

Fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish have high mercury levels and must be shunned. Mercury, an element found in oceans, streams, and lakes, converts into methylmercury in the human body. It is a neurotoxin and is linked to brain damage and developmental delays in babies. You could choose fish such as salmon, catfish, cod, and canned light tuna, which have low mercury levels. According to the US FDA, you can eat up to eight to 12 ounces of fish per week, which is two to three servings. Consumption of white tuna (albacore) should be limited to six ounces per week

Undercook fish or raw fish or meat

Raw fish, especially shellfish, can cause several infections. These include norovirus, Vibrio, Salmonella, Listeria and parasites. Some of these infections only affect the mother, leaving her dehydrated and weak. Other infections may be passed on to the unborn baby with serious, or even fatal, consequences. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to Listeria infections. In fact, pregnant women are up to 20 times more likely to get infected by Listeria than the general population. This bacteria can be found in soil and contaminated water or plants. Raw fish can become infected during processing, including smoking or drying. Listeria can be passed to an unborn baby through the placenta, even if the mother is not showing any signs of illness. This can lead to premature delivery, miscarriage, stillbirth and other serious health problems . Pregnant women are therefore advised to avoid raw fish and shellfish. This includes many sushi dishes!

Caffeine

Higher amounts of caffeine could increase your chances of miscarriage and low birth weight babies.You should limit your intake to 200mg a day. Caffeine is also found in tea, chocolate, and many energy drinks. Some research studies reveal that caffeine is associated with premature birth and withdrawal symptoms in infants (18). Other drinks to avoid during pregnancy are soft drinks, diet soda, alcohol, and iced tea.

 

Unwashed Vegetables

The surface of unwashed or unpeeled fruits and vegetables may be contaminated with several bacteria and parasites . These include Toxoplasma, E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria, which can be acquired from the soil or through handling. Contamination can actually occur at any time during production, harvest, processing, storage, transportation or retail . Bacteria can harm both the mother and her unborn baby. One very dangerous parasite that may linger on fruits and vegetables is called Toxoplasma. The majority of people who get Toxoplasmosis have no symptoms, while others may feel as if they have the flu that lasts for a month or more. Most infants who are infected with Toxoplasma while still in the womb have no symptoms at birth. However, symptoms such as blindness or intellectual disabilities may develop later in life. What’s more, a small percentage of infected newborns have serious eye or brain damage at birth. While you’re pregnant, it’s very important to minimize the risk of infection by thoroughly rinsing, peeling or cooking fruits and vegetables.

Pain relieve for birth available in Barcelona Hospitals

Pain relieve for birth available in Barcelona Hospitals

Labour can be a really intense experience, strong and painful in some moments… Today we have several options for pain relive during birth. So today I will explain you want kind of pain relieve you have available in Barcelona Hospitals!

1. Self-help in labour

You’re likely to feel more relaxed in labour and better placed to cope with the pain if you: learn about labour, to know what is going to happen can make you feel more in control and less frightened about what’s going to happen. Also you can talk to your midwife or doctor, ask them questions, and go to antenatal classes learn how to relax, stay calm, and breathe deeply keep moving.

In my antenatal classes you will learn how your position can make a difference, so try kneeling, walking around, or rocking backwards and forwards bring a partner, friend or relative to support you during labour.

2. Gas and air (Entonox) for labour

It is available in some hospitals of the public system in Barcelona.

This is a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide gas. Gas and air won’t remove all the pain, but it can help reduce it and make it more bearable. Many women like it because it’s easy to use and they control it themselves. You breathe in the gas and air through a mask or mouthpiece, which you hold yourself. The gas takes about 15-20 seconds to work, so you breathe it in just as a contraction begins. It works best if you take slow, deep breaths. Side effects there are no harmful side effects for you or the baby it can make you feel light-headed some women find that it makes them feel sick, sleepy or unable to concentrate – if this happens, you can stop using it If gas and air doesn’t give you enough pain relief, you can ask for a painkilling injection as well.

3. Epidural

It is really common in Spain. An epidural is a special type of local anaesthetic. It numbs the nerves that carry the pain impulses from the birth canal to the brain. It shouldn’t make you sick or drowsy.

For most women, an epidural gives complete pain relief. It can be helpful for women who are having a long or particularly painful labour. An anaesthetist is the only person who can give an epidural, so it won’t be available at home.

How much you can move your legs after en epidural depends on the local anaesthetic used. Some units offer “mobile” epidurals, which means you can walk around. However, this also requires the baby’s heart rate to be monitored remotely (by telemetry) and many units don’t have the equipment to do this. Ask your midwife if mobile epidural is available in your local unit. An epidural can provide very good pain relief, but it’s not always 100% effective in labour.

4. Water during labour

Being in water can help you relax and make the contractions seem less painful. Ask if you can have a bath or use a birth pool. You can find a birth pool in Maternitat and Sant Joan de Deu. The water will be kept at a comfortable temperature, but not above 37.5C, and your temperature will be monitored.

how to get pregnant

Tips to get pregnant

Your biological alarm clock has gone off, you’re tracking your menstrual cycle, maybe you’ve had a preliminary checkup with your doctor. (You might even be secretly buying baby magazines!) We’ve scoured the latest research and fertility advice to compile this big list of ‘getting pregnant tips’ to help you out.

MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

If you’re wondering how to increase your chances of getting pregnant fast, self-care can go a long way. It’s no secret your body goes through some major changes and challenges during pregnancy and delivery, so be sure to start off your pregnancy journey in tip-top shape by taking important steps toward a healthy lifestyle. Here, we’ve outlined some simple health tips for getting pregnant to follow.

See your doctor and dentist Your ob-gyn (or midwife) can talk to you about your overall health and suggest any necessary lifestyle changes to help you get pregnant fast. You’ll also want to discuss any family history of infertility with your doctor, since some fertility issues may be hereditary. And don’t forget to pay your dentist a visit! Gum disease has been linked to underweight and premature babies. Not only that, pregnancy is notoriously tough on teeth and gums. Your dentist can make sure your oral hygiene is in good standing before you get pregnant.

Start taking prenatal vitamins It’s never too early to start taking prenatal vitamins. Among other important nutrients, they contain folic acid, which numerous studies have found to be critically important for baby at every stage of development—it helps promote ovulation, encourages fertilization and support early embryo survival, says Audrey Gaskins, ScD, an instructor of nutrition and dietetics at Harvard Medical School. Your ob-gyn can prescribe a prenatal vitamin or offer recommendations for some good over-the-counter options. Foods like strawberries, spinach, beans and orange juice are also naturally high in folate.

TRACK YOUR OVULATION

Knowing when you’re going to ovulate—and therefore when you’re most fertile—is key to how to get pregnant fast. Nailing down the timing isn’t always easy, but luckily there are several ways to track your ovulation. Learn when ovulation happens It’s a good idea to understand the basics of how ovulation works so you can monitor your body for signs and symptoms. It’s a common misconception that ovulation always occurs on the 14th day after your period starts, but that only happens if your menstrual cycle is consistent and 28 days long. Every woman’s cycle is different. Depending on how long your cycle is, ovulation can actually happen between 11 to 21 days after the first day of your last period (or even earlier or later, if you have a particularly short or long cycle). But while the timing of ovulation depends on the woman’s unique cycle, all healthy women will get their periods 12 to 14 days after ovulation.

Recognize ovulation symptoms An app can crunch the numbers and give you likelihoods, but one of the simplest ways to get pregnant is to listen to your body and watch for symptoms of ovulation. You may have just one or two, or you may have several of the following signs:

  • Light spotting
  • Clear, stretchy cervical mucus
  • Increased libido
  • Breast sensitivity and tenderness
  • Heightened sense of taste, sight or smell
  • Bloating Change in cervical firmness and position (it’ll feel softer, higher and more open)
  • A sudden and sustained increase in your basal body temperature
music birth

Should I Bring Music for Labor?

When you’re planning a celebration, a party or a wedding, at some point consideration is usually given to the music that will enhance the event. Increasingly people use their ipods to break up long journeys, and friends who have run marathons say that music ‘got them through’. In the same way it’s worth thinking about the benefits that music can bring to labour and birth and the ways in which it can help you on your big day. And in fact a recent study conducted with a group of Taiwanese first-time mothers suggests music can decrease pain in labour.

People’s musical tastes vary widely but most of us have favourite tunes which energise, relax or just lift our mood. All of these can be useful in labour. Trials show that music can lower perception of pain, help to regulate heart rate and breathing, reducing the amount of morphine type drugs needed. Music can also reduce anxiety which in turn can help you feel calm and in control.

Something familiar

In addition to this your own familiar tunes can help to personalise the birth space, set the tone and make the room feel like your own. These familiar tunes can stimulate endorphins and hormones which are helpful in labour acting as natural pain relief especially in the early stages of labour.

Something to relax you

Perhaps when you plan what music to pack you might think about what you would want to listen to on a long journey to pass the time; this could be helpful for the early stages of labour. Identify what music makes you feel comfortable and relaxed, some chill out music may help as labour progresses.

Something that makes you dance

Alternatively, what makes you dance? Although you may not be bopping your way through the birth, staying mobile can certainly help progress in labour, so it may be that music motivates you to stay off the bed and keep swaying, stomping or whatever else feels right at the time.

The findings of the study made in Taiwan support the value of offering music to women during the latent phase of labour to assist in reducing pain levels and lessening anxiety. Music lacks the harmful side-effects of pharmaceutical pain relief measures, and is simple to administer and control making it a relative simple practice to support in hospital settings. But of course… It depends on you! For your birth, you should think about what makes you happy and calm. If you like silence when you’re stressed, then maybe music isn’t the right choice for you. But the wonderful thing about using music as an intervention is that if it doesn’t feel right at the time, you can simply turn it off. How many things can you say that about?

pregnancy barcelona

Thoughts that you may have during your pregnancy

It’s not uncommon for women who are pregnant to worry about their unborn child, especially if it’s a first pregnancy. For example, there are common concerns like being worried about the baby getting proper nutrition, being afraid of going into premature labour, or even having a miscarriage. While having the odd episode of anxiety is considered a “normal” pregnancy reaction, there can be situations where a woman has irrational or crazy thoughts.

“I’m Not Ready”

I don’t think I know a single parent who felt completely ready to have kids, especially once the pregnancy was under way. You always think you’re ready, until things get going and self-doubt shows up (uninvited, of course). Then you have these second thoughts, especially about being able to provide for your new child. Doubts are a healthy part of being a self-aware parent, in my opinion.

“What If Something Is Wrong With My Baby?”

No one asks for a baby with complications, but of the parents I know who had a child with unexpected medical problems (whether short term or long term), not a single one would trade their baby out for a “healthy” one. You will love your baby no matter what, and it’s normal to fear for their health and safety.

“Giving birth without my doctor is not possible”

Finding a good doctor to help you through a pregnancy and an obstetrician who you can trust to be there during labour is obviously important. Many women understandably get attached to their caregivers. It is not unusual though for a woman’s obstetrician to be unavailable when someone goes into labour, especially in the public health system in Spain. Some pregnant women worry throughout their entire pregnancy that they will give birth without their doctor present. They think they can’t possibly get through the process without him or her. Part of the problem is that they believe only their doctor knows their history and only their doctor will know how to handle all their needs during labour. One of the biggest fears of these women is, what if I get a doctor that isn’t good? There are even pregnant women that fear experiencing quick labour. You know, those situations you see in the movies where a woman can’t make it to the hospital and gives birth in a taxicab.

“Why Don’t I Love My Baby Yet?”

You haven’t met your baby yet. Right now, you are in that conceptual stage of parenthood, because while your body is taking care of your baby, you don’t have to actually do anything. Some women feel that magical connection before the baby is born, but if you’re not feeling it, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom, it just means you haven’t actually met your baby yet.

At the end all this fears are basically fear to the unknown. Fear of the unknown is best described as a phobia or irrational sensation of fear experienced about a person or situation that is foreign. We are all afraid of the unknown to a certain degree, but for some individuals such fear can be overwhelming to the point that one’s daily life and activities are hindered. There are many women who have admitted to avoiding pregnancy because they fear it; however, there are also those who become pregnant and then worry through the entire pregnancy about the unknown. Doing anything for the first time can be scary, but it can also be exciting. While this is certainly true with pregnancy, those who obsess over the unknown during this time of their lives are really missing out on a beautiful journey. When the fear overtakes them it is difficult for them to notice things like, the first time baby kicks or how their skin looks brighter. Women who fear the unknown during pregnancy often feel cheated after the baby is born because the last nine months were a blur due to their irrational thinking.

pregnant barcelona

5 Foods to Eat When You’re Pregnant

Maintaining a healthy diet during pregnancy is very important that’s why I want to explain you which5 foods to eat when you’re pregnant!

During this time, your body needs additional nutrients, vitamins and minerals
In fact, you may need 350–500 extra calories each day during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters
A diet that lacks key nutrients may negatively affect the baby’s development
Poor eating habits and excess weight gain may also increase the risk of gestational diabetes and pregnancy or birth complications
Put simply, choosing healthy, nutritious foods will help ensure the health of you and your baby.
It will also make it a lot easier to lose the pregnancy weight after you’ve given birth.
Here are 5 highly nutritious foods to eat when you’re pregnant.

1. Calcium products
During pregnancy, you need to consume extra protein and calcium to meet the needs of the growing fetus
Dairy products contain two types of high quality protein: casein and whey. Dairy but also some vegetables and fish are the best dietary source of calcium, and provides high amounts of phosphorus, various B-vitamins, magnesium and zinc.
Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is particularly beneficial for pregnant women .
It contains more calcium than any other dairy product. Some varieties also contain probiotic bacteria, which support digestive health .
People who are lactose intolerant may also be able to tolerate yogurt, especially probiotic yogurt .

2. Legumes

This group of food includes lentils, peas, beans, chickpeas, soybeans and peanuts.
Legumes are excellent plant-based sources of fiber, protein, iron, folate (B9) and calcium, all of which the body needs more of during pregnancy.
Folate is one of the B-vitamins (B9). It is very important for the health of the mother and fetus, especially during the first trimester.
However, most pregnant women are not consuming nearly enough folate .
This has been linked with an increased risk of neural tube defects and low birth weight. Insufficient folate intake may also cause the child to be more prone to infections and disease later in life .
Legumes contain high amounts of folate. One cup of lentils, chickpeas or black beans may provide from 65–90% of the RDA
Furthermore, legumes are generally very high in fiber. Some varieties are also high in iron, magnesium and potassium.

3. Broccoli and dark, leafy greens
Broccoli and dark, green vegetables, such as kale and spinach, contain many of the nutrients that pregnant women need.
These include fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, iron, folate and potassium.
Furthermore, broccoli and leafy greens are rich in antioxidants. They also contain plant compounds that benefit the immune system and digestion .
Due to their high fiber content, these vegetables may also help prevent constipation. This is a very common problem among pregnant women .
Consuming green, leafy vegetables has also been linked with a reduced risk of low birth weight.

4. Lean meat
Beef, pork and chicken are excellent sources of high-quality protein.
Furthermore, beef and pork are also rich in iron, choline and other B-vitamins — all of which are needed in higher amounts during pregnancy.
Iron is an essential mineral that is used by red blood cells as a part of hemoglobin. It is important for delivering oxygen to all cells in the body.
Pregnant women need more iron, since their blood volume is increasing. This is particularly important during the third trimester.
Low levels of iron during early and mid-pregnancy may cause iron deficiency anemia, which doubles the risk of premature delivery and low birth weight .
It may be hard to cover iron needs with diet alone, especially since many pregnant women develop an aversion to meat .
However, for those who can, eating red meat regularly may help increase the amount of iron acquired from the diet.
Eating foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as oranges or bell peppers, may also help increase absorption of iron from meals.

5. Fish liver oil
Fish liver oil is made from the oily liver of fish, most often cod.
The oil is very rich in the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which are essential for fetal brain and eye development .
Fish liver oil is also very high in vitamin D, which many people do not get enough of. It may be highly beneficial for those who don’t regularly eat seafood or supplement with omega-3 or vitamin D.
Low vitamin D intake has been linked with an increased risk of preeclampsia. This potentially dangerous complication is characterized by high blood pressure, swelling of the hands and feet, and protein in the urine .
Consuming cod liver oil during early pregnancy has been linked with higher birth weight and a lower risk of disease later in the baby’s life
A single serving (one tablespoon) of fish liver oil provides more than the recommended daily intake of omega-3, vitamin D and vitamin A.
However, it is not recommended to consume more than one serving (one tablespoon) per day, because too much preformed vitamin A can be dangerous for the fetus. High levels of omega-3 may also have blood-thinning effects

Overcome Your Fear of Childbirth Barcelona

Overcome Your Fear of Childbirth

Would you like to have a fearless birth? A birth you can look forward to?And would you like to know exactly how you can prepare for it?

Unfortunately a lot of women believe that giving birth is one of the worst experiences in a woman’s life and some women even choose not to have children because they are so scared of it. However, there are a lot of things we can do and here they are:

Number 1 – Trust Your Body: Women all over the world have given birth for thousands and thousands and thousands of years and in fact our amazing bodies are designed to give birth, right? Looking at it from an evolutionary standpoint, that’s really all we’re here for. Seeing other mammals give birth, they usually do this all by themselves and most of the time at night when it’s dark and quiet, shhhh and they are undisturbed. I do want you to take away from this is that your body knows what it’s doing. And even more so when you’re treating yourself well during your pregnancy! So trust your body!

Number 2 – Choose Your Birthing Team Wisely: Ideally you want to have a team including your birth partner, and that can be your intimate partner, your mum, a good friend, or your sister; a doula who will help both you and your partner with all sorts of things during labour and birth, a midwife and then depending on your personal preferences and financial situation, you might even consider hiring a photographer who can capture your memories. Of course you only want to work with people you trust.

Number 3 – Keep Positive: If you’re scared of giving birth, which is probably why you’re here. I’m sure you’ve been inundated with horror stories, be it by your mum, friends and other family members, or movies, tv shows, pictures… Keep all of those stories out of your life from now on and if someone (and there always seems to be someone while you’re pregnant) wants to tell your about their negative experience, ask them to wait until after your birth. You can say something along the lines of: “Hey, I’d love to hear your birth story, but I’d really prefer to talk about it after I’ve given birth.”Is is important to take antenatal classes that will help you to understand the process and to be prepare for birth.

Number 4 – Relax: Now, THIS is super important and something I go into in a lot more detail as to how to actually do this, in my classes, but to give you the quick version: You want to relax your mind completely, because a relaxed mind means your whole body and especially your pelvic muscles will be relaxed as well, which is exactly what we want to help your baby make its way out more easily and stress free. And ONE amazing way to do this is by imagining yourself outside at the beach, up on a mountain or even in your own garden, whatever calms your mind and your body.

Number 5 – Breathe: When you’re relaxed, you will naturally breathe deeper into your belly, which is so important for labour and birth.

Number 6 – Hum Your Baby Down: Breathe or hum your baby down and that’s something you want to be doing at the end instead of pushing. Most of us believe that we have to push the baby out and yes, most women actually feel the natural urge to push at the very end, and so did I. However, if you’re pushing too soon with too much force, you’re causing the sphincters of your vagina to close right in front of your baby’s head, which can slow down the process a lot. So hum your baby down.

Number 7 – Connect with Your Baby: You want to be doing this throughout your pregnancy and especially during labour and birth. And what I mean by this is to check in with your body and your baby throughout the day, get quiet and relaxed and just feel how your belly feels. Can you feel your baby moving? even if it’s just tiny movements? So often we only really feel them once we go to bed after a hectic day, when we lie down and finally calm down. Communicate and bond with your baby as much as you can. And then of course during labour realise that your baby getting closer to you, closer and closer with every single surge.

 

igns that will let you know that your baby is coming

6 signs that will let you know that your baby is coming

Every woman’s experience of labour is different. You may only be able to work out when labour truly started after you’ve been through it! However, changes that take place in pre-labour and early labour may cause tell-tale signs and symptoms that labour is imminent

1. Nesting: If so, labor is on the way. First, have you heard of “nesting?” It’s when you get this surge of energy that makes you want to cook, clean, and reorganize your home. For some women, it’s a clue that baby day could be coming up soon.

2. Lightening: “Lightening” is the feeling that your baby has dropped lower into your pelvis. It means labor isn’t far off!

3. Persistent lower back pain or abdominal pain, with a pre-menstrual feeling and cramps.

4. Bloody or transparent Discharge: If you notice brownish or red-colored mucus called discharge coming out of your vagina, it could mean your cervix is opening up.

5. Water Breaks: Your water could break before or during labor. It could feel like a big gush or a steady trickle. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether it’s the real deal or just pee, so let your doctor know ASAP if you’re not sure. She may want to know what color the water was and what it smelled like.

6. Contractions: When you have contractions that gradually get stronger and closer together, that means the countdown to a baby is on! They’ll be so powerful that you won’t be able to walk or talk while you’re having them. And they won’t go away if you move around or change positions, either.

toxoplasmosis and pregnancy

Toxoplasmosis and pregnancy

What is toxoplasmosis?

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a tiny parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. It’s usually a mild disease, which often has no symptoms at all, but if you catch it for the first time in early pregnancy it can cause serious health problems for your baby. You can be infected with toxoplasmosis from eating meat that is either raw, cured, or undercooked.

The toxoplasmosis parasite is also found in:

  • unpasteurised goat’s milk or cheese
  • unwashed fruit or vegetables
  • cat poo (most animals can be infected with toxoplasmosis but cats are the only ones to pass it on through their poo)

You can only catch toxoplasmosis once, after that you’re immune to it. So if you’ve had it in the past there’s no risk to your pregnancy. The problem is, the symptoms are so mild you probably won’t know if you’ve had it or not. So it’s wise for everyone to take steps to avoid being infected. Fortunately there’s lots you can do.

Will toxoplasmosis harm my unborn baby?

It can do. The toxoplasmosis parasite can infect your placenta and your baby and cause a condition called congenital toxoplasmosis, but it’s very rare for this to happen. Of all babies born, between one in 10,000 and one in 30,000 are born with congenital toxoplasmosis.

The risk to your baby depends on when you were infected with toxoplasmosis. It’s more likely to spread to your baby in later pregnancy, although if you catch it in early pregnancy the effects on your baby are likely to be more severe. Sadly, congenital toxoplasmosis in early pregnancy can lead to misscarriage.

Most babies with congenital toxoplasmosis have no obvious problems at birth. However these babies may develop symptoms during the next few months or years. These may include:

  • damage to the eyes
  • hearing problems
  • learning difficulties as a result of brain damage

About one in 10 babies with congenital toxoplasmosis will have a severe infection with problems that affect them as soon as they are born. Signs of a serious infection include:

  • an eye infection
  • an enlarged liver and spleen
  • jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin)
  • pneumonia

Sadly, congenital toxoplasmosis can also cause a baby to be stillborn.

How can I prevent toxoplasmosis?

There are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from catching toxoplasmosis.

When it comes to food:

  • Thoroughly cook all meat and chilled or frozen ready meals before you eat them.
  • Avoid eating cured meat, such as jamón, parma ham and salami.
  • Follow good hygiene when handling or preparing meat. Keep kitchen utensils that you’ve used on raw meat away from food that you’re going to eat without cooking and wash the utensils thoroughly before you use them again.
  • Wash your hands before touching your food. After you’ve finished cooking, wash your hands and all cooking utensils and surfaces thoroughly.
  • Wash fruit and vegetables, particularly if you are eating them raw.
  • Don’t drink unpasteurised milk, cheese, or cream made from unpasteurised goat’s milk.

When you’re gardening or handling soil or sand, wear gloves. Then wash your hands afterwards in case you have come into contact with cat poo in the soil. If your child has an outdoor sand box, cover it up to prevent cats using it as a litter tray.

Some farm animals can also carry toxoplasmosis. If you’ve been in contact with sheep at farmsor been visiting outdoor play centres where there are animals, wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.

If you have a cat, it’s best if someone else can deal with the litter tray while you’re pregnant. If you have to clear the litter tray yourself use gloves and wash your hands afterwards. Also, make sure the litter tray is emptied daily and cleaned with hot, soapy water, as the toxoplasmosis parasite in cat poo becomes infectious after 24 hours.

stage of labour barcelona

Giving Birth: Stages (Part 2)

What happens in the second stage of labour?

This is the stage when your baby is born. During the second stage of labour, your baby will descend into your vagina (the birth canal) and you’ll push your baby down and out to meet you for the first time.

You’ll feel the pressure of your baby’s head low down in your pelvis, and with each contraction, you may feel strong urges to bear down. Listen to your body, and push in response to the urges. Take a few breaths between pushes if that’s what feels right.
With every push, your baby will move further through your pelvis, but at the end of the contraction, he’ll probably slip back a little again. This is normal and gives the muscles of your pelvic floor time to stretch gradually. As long as your baby keeps gradually moving down, you’re doing fine.

When your baby’s head is visible at the entrance to your vagina and stays there when the contraction has ended, it’s called crowning.

Your midwife will tell you when she can see your baby’s head, and may ask you to stop pushing and blow or sigh out your breaths. This helps you to resist the urge to bear down for two contractions or three contractions, so that your baby is born gently and slowly.

Taking this approach may help to protect your perineum (the area between your vulva and your anus). You’ll probably feel a hot, stinging sensation, as the opening of your vagina starts to stretch around your baby’s head. Your midwife may use warm compresses to support your perineum as it stretches to help to prevent a tear.

Once your baby is born, he’ll be dried off with a clean towel and then placed onto your tummy or chest for skin to skin

What happens in the third stage of labour?

The third stage of labour begins once your baby is born, and ends when you deliver the placenta and the empty bag of waters that are attached to the placenta (membranes). These come away as your womb contracts down after the birth.

Your contractions will be noticeable but weaker when they begin again. The placenta will peel away from the wall of your womb and move down the birth canal into your vagina. You may get the urge to push as this happens.

It’s routine to be offered an injection for the third stage that helps your womb to contract down and the placenta to come away. This may cause side-effects such as nausea and vomiting, because of the drugs used. You won’t have to do any pushing, as once it’s detached, your midwife will gently pull out the placenta and membranes.

If all went well in your pregnancy and labour, you can choose to have a natural (physiological) third stage. This is when you deliver the placenta without an injection. Upright positions, skin to skin contact with your baby, and starting to breastfeed your baby may all help to stimulate contractions to help you deliver the placenta.

Whether you have a natural or a managed third stage, it’s recommended to wait at least a few minutes before clamping the cord, which will benefit your baby. While all this is going on, you’re likely to be cuddling and getting to know your newborn better.