After nine months of pregnancy, the long-awaited day of your child’s birth is upon us! A few tips to prepare yourself well before giving birth in Luxembourg.
Childbirth is a special moment in a woman’s life. An accompaniment is therefore offered to support the mother-to-be. All information will be provided to you by your doctor who will follow your pregnancy. However, here are a few guidelines that you will confirm as your pregnancy progresses with the medical teams, Just Arrived is not a medical specialist!
Theoretical and practical courses for pregnant women
Some hospitals and maternity wards offer courses of theoretical information and practical exercises to prepare for childbirth or to accompany pregnant women, as in the maternity ward of the CHL.
Haptonomy, from the Greek hapsis / haptein (the touch, the bond) and nomos (the rule), is the science of affectivity and human relationships. It is thus a method of preparation for childbirth that is very much appreciated by future parents.
These sessions are intended for both parents, from the 20th week of pregnancy. It allows a reassuring communication between the child and the future parents.
Hypnosis sessions can be offered to pregnant women. They offer an accompaniment to stop smoking, reduce the stress of childbirth, increase the comfort of life by reducing the discomfort of pregnancy or initiate the change of position of the baby.
Being pregnant does not mean stopping all physical activity. Pregnant women can take prenatal yoga, gymnastics or aquagym classes. Check with health clubs for more information.
Birth plan and how to prepare for it?
The birth plan is a document in which the parents express their wishes regarding the birth. All aspects of childbirth can be discussed, from medical procedures to positions.
It is also an opportunity for dialogue with the medical team.
Writing a birth plan takes time. First of all, it is necessary to learn about the process of childbirth, but also to identify your fears and expectations.
Before starting to conceive, it is advisable to discuss it with the medical team: whether it is the midwife or the obstetrician-gynaecologist. The idea is to match the will of the parents as closely as possible with the possibilities of the medical profession.
The project can be written or not.
Preparing your suitcase for maternity
The suitcase for childbirth
As the big day approaches, it’s time to pack a suitcase for your stay in the birthing room. The idea is to be able to dispose of it quickly in case you leave the maternity ward in a hurry.
A few tips to help you prepare your bag:
For the mother:
- A large t-shirt or a nightgown,
- A robe,
- A pair of slippers,
- Wide briefs,
- A bath sheet,
- A washcloth,
- A mineral water mister,
- Lip balm,
- The medical and administrative file including : Identity card or passport, The social security card, The blood type card, The pregnancy notebook.
For the baby:
- A bodysuit,
- A beanie.
The mother can also add something to relax (reading, music…), as well as a camera to immortalize the birth.
The suitcase for the stay at the maternity ward
The young mother’s suitcase
- A nightgown or pyjamas that are easy to open,
- Comfortable clothes,
- Tall briefs or disposable briefs,
- One towel,
- A washcloth,
- A toiletries kit and possibly a make-up kit,
- Sanitary napkins,
If the mother wishes to breastfeed
- Two nursing bras (one size up),
- Nursing pads,
- A nursing pillow.
The newborn’s suitcase
- 5 or 6 cotton bras or bodies,
- Five onesies,
- 3 pajamas,
- 2 wool vests,
- A beanie,
- A cotton diaper,
- 2 bibs,
- A few diapers (although most maternity wards provide some),
- A cuddly toy,
- A bathing trip,
- An angel’s nest for the exit of the maternity ward.
Advice: Opt for a mix between birth size (50 cm) and 1 month size (54 cm) clothes and favour cross bodies so that you don’t have to put the garment through the baby’s head during the first days. In the event of a caesarean section, it is advisable to take two extra outfits for the baby.
When is it time to go to the maternity ward?
It’s only a matter of days before the baby arrives. But when do you have to go to the maternity ward?
There are several signs to take into account.
The loss of the mucous plug
The loss of the mucous plug may be an early warning sign of the onset of labour.
During pregnancy, the mucus plug acts as a “barrier” to prevent microbes from entering the cervix. It may be expelled a few days or hours before delivery. So don’t panic! In the absence of contractions or loss of water, it is useless to go to the maternity ward immediately.
If it announces the baby’s imminent arrival, some women do not realize the loss of their mucous plug. So don’t worry if you don’t notice this step.
The first contractions
During pregnancy, the mother may feel contractions. But beware, these are not necessarily a sign of childbirth! This is called “false labour”. Most of the time, these contractions do not become more intense or regular and usually disappear fairly quickly.
The “real” contractions are more intense. They change in intensity and regularity as the labour progresses.
However, labour lasts a few hours. It is necessary to count between 8 am and 2 pm for a first child, less for multiparous women. It is advisable to relax: music, breathing exercises, hot bath… When the contractions get closer (between 5 and 10 minutes), it is time to leave for the maternity ward.
How to time contractions?
To time contractions, you have to measure the time between the beginning of one contraction and the next. It is advisable to note their frequency. This information will allow the medical staff to evaluate the progress of the labour.
Water loss is the most evocative sign. The rupture of the water pocket causes the loss of amniotic fluid. The baby is therefore no longer protected. It is therefore high time to go to the maternity ward, even if you are not having contractions.
If, however, labour does not start after a few hours, the birth will have to be started in order to protect the baby’s health.
There are other signs that should alert you:
Decreased fetal movement, which means the baby seems to be moving much less,
Heavy vaginal bleeding,
Severe headache, abnormal pain, fever, dizziness or malaise.
If these symptoms occur, it is advisable to go to the maternity ward. If in doubt, parents can contact a midwife.
The 4 stages of childbirth
That’s it, the work has begun. Once in the maternity ward, the medical team takes care of the mother. But how does the birth actually take place?
Stage 1: examination and monitoring
Upon arrival at the maternity ward, the mother is taken directly to the treatment room. The midwife then carries out a complete clinical examination: taking blood pressure and temperature, palpating the abdomen, vaginal touch… The aim is to check the examination of the labour and the state of health of the mother.
A monitor is then set up to check the baby’s heartbeat and the intensity of the contractions.
Stage 2: Installation in the rest room… or birth room
If work is just beginning, the mother is placed in a bedroom or rest room. A midwife will come and check the progress of the labour about every hour. From this moment on, it is preferable to abstain from eating and drinking so that, if necessary, a general anaesthetic can be administered.
Once labour is well advanced, the mother-to-be is moved into the delivery room. A midwife or nurse will then give her an infusion directly. Usually, this intravenous catheter diffuses a glucose serum which helps to support the prolonged effort throughout the delivery. It also allows for rapid intervention if an injection of medication or a blood transfusion is necessary.
If you wish, you can request an epidural to relieve the pain of the contractions. Be careful not to ask for it too late, as it may not have time to work or may be difficult to apply.
Stage 3: The arrival of the baby
When cervical dilation is complete (10 cm), delivery begins. A midwife guides the mother until the baby arrives. The parents then discover their child and the umbilical cord is cut.
Step 4: First aid for the baby
After giving its first cry, the newborn baby is taken by the midwife to receive first aid.
The baby is examined: weight, height, breathing, muscle tone, responsiveness to stimulation, colour, etc. The baby is then given a thorough check-up.
When the examination is over, the baby goes back to the mother’s room.
The young mother’s medical care continues after the birth.
Postnatal home visit
After childbirth, the liberal midwives remain available to support the young mothers.
If the mother leaves the maternity ward no later than four days after giving birth, a liberal midwife can come to the home until the tenth day of the child’s birth, depending on the mother’s needs and availability. These visits are paid for by the health insurance funds.
Beyond the 10th day – or if the mother returns home after four days in the maternity ward – only a consultation by a midwife is reimbursed.
In the event of a problem, a midwife can always intervene. However, a doctor’s prescription is required.
Some liberal midwives also offer private consultations for breastfeeding assistance, baby massage, etc.
Note that the day of the child’s birth counts as “day zero”.
The visit to the gynaecologist
A visit to the gynaecologist should be scheduled six to eight weeks after delivery.
The purpose of this consultation is to check the health of the young mother. The gynaecologist will ask several questions, such as breastfeeding, return of the baby’s nappy, pain, etc. He will then proceed with a gynaecological examination to check the tone of the perineum, the condition of the breasts and the proper healing in the event of an episiotomy or perineal tear.
The gynaecologist can also prescribe to the young mother, if necessary, sessions of perineal re-education by a physiotherapist.
Did you give birth? What kind of daycare for your baby?