This post contain a product(s) that was gifted in exchange for an honest review of the product(s) and/or service.
Pregnant women of a certain BMI will have experienced, at some point, the stress and anxiety that comes with being referred to a Wellness Clinic as a part of their antenatal care. When I was first booked in with my midwife at the GP’s surgery I was advised that I can ‘take what I wanted away from the experience’. Clueless and perturbed that I was being recommended additional appointments just because of my weight I soon found myself Googling away at 2am on the what exactly constitutes a ‘Wellness Clinic’ and what I should be prepared for.
Eventually I stumbled across a Facebook group for plus size and pregnant women on recommendation from a friend and my world was opened up to the realities of gestational diabetes, regular growth scans and food diaries. I’m sorry, but no way was I going to be tracking my eating habits to a hospital midwife throughout my pregnancy. I was prepared to do battle when I attended for the first time last week, our household diet is generally healthy as I know how to prepare and encourage healthy eating for my eight-year-old – I just have bad habits that I haven’t concentrated on breaking after the last turbulent three years my husband and I have lived through.
Needless to say, whilst sitting in the waiting room to go in for the appointment I was gripped by the stress of potentially having to defend myself against the prejudice of being fat and up the duff from a line-up of health professionals. I really wasn’t happy to be there, nor was I looking forward to the appointment.
I’m pleased to report that I was only handed one leaflet titled ‘Pregnancy and BMI’ that I was talked through and a lot of topics that really turned me off about the experience weren’t discussed because I actually score low on a risk assessment for a healthy pregnancy and birth: I don’t smoke, I don’t suffer from blood clots, I have a knowledge of what makes up a balanced diet and I’ve made minimal weight gain since falling pregnant. I got this. I came out feeling happier and lighter about the whole thing and not at all ‘put on the spot’ like other accounts I’d read had described.
Although I’m still sore about being referred in the first place, as if I need an education on how to be healthy, the hospital midwife soon clocked that what I really needed was the support around the birth and what actually happens. This is my first dance and although I know the ins and outs and childbirth (well more or less the ‘outs’ that I’m gonna have to push like my life depends on it or be wheeled into surgery for a c-section on the day) I’m clueless on what my rights are, when I will need to actually go into hospital and what the signs of labour mean. Even though I’m now a little more clued up on these things after my appointment it still hasn’t quite connected in my mind that I will be giving birth in the near future. I think the only thing that my head can get round is that I’ll be going through pain like I’ve never experienced before, and that alone is pretty terrifying.
I responded to a call recently from Hannah for bloggers looking for some positive birthing aids and the little gem gifted me some birth affirmation cards to look through. I chose a floral theme for my box that arrived with some cute aids to hang around the house. My eyes have only just been opened to world of positive birthing but when thinking about what will happen when I go into labour my mind has been made since day one about the whole experience – I want to be one of these women that just gets on with it. Yes I know that I can be a giant wimp about anything pain-related but I have a feeling deep down that I can do it if I really set my mind to it – and as I’m not prepared to spend a small fortune on something like hypno-birthing (this is a real thing that is ran in my area and yes, it’s ridiculously pricey!) these handbag sized cards holding positive vibes are a much cheaper alternative to starting down the road to a calm birthing experience.
These cards are a great gift for a baby shower or maybe something to send to a worried friend who’s facing birth for the first, second or third etc time. We all need a pick-me-up sometimes and it’s good to share the love, especially about a subject that is so often vaguely labelled as ‘the worst pain ever’. Personally I’ve had the box with these cards in sitting on my desk waiting to be hung-up when we re-decorate and I’ve often found myself sifting through them because they’ve aided me in starting to think about what I really want and preparing my mindset which is the most I can handle at just 21 weeks.
You can find a selection of designs at Hannah’s Etsy store with downloadable packs starting from £3.00 and physical printed cards at £8.95 and free delivery in the UK. I would recommend having these cards around your home if you’re pregnant and wanting to focus on a positive delivery or like me, just need a bit of a mental reminder that yes, you will be giving birth one day soon and it can be a good experience. I’m still not 100% ready to admit to myself that big physical changes are going to happen to me in late June but using one of these cards as a temporary bookmark in my latest read or slipping another into my diary helps to get me there without the immediate mental jump to all the birthing horror stories I’ve heard throughout my life so far.
Are you pregnant and tried any aids such as these before? What did you think of them? Did you take to the hospital with you when you gave birth? Let me know in the comments.