Tag Archive | "midwife"

Hands on Pumping

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Hands on Pumping

Posted on 15 September 2014 by Kristrun

Although pumping or expressing is not recommended for the first 6 weeks after birth, it is sometimes necessary especially if your baby is ill, premature or unable to breastfeedingonbedbreastfeed for any reason. To get the milk production started after birth it is important to stimulate your breasts as soon as possible – preferably within two hours after the birth. To maximise the amount of colostrum produced, you may have more success hand expressing the first time since this is often more effective than using a pump.

After that initial expressing it is recommended to use a hospital-grade pump with a double pump kit about 8 times or more per 24 hours. This works out as approximately every 3 hours or whenever convenient – it doesn’t have to be always at the same time. For maximum milk production by pumping, it is important you use breast massage before and during the pumping session. This will stimulate the ‘let-down’ and the milk will flow more easily. When you’re pumping you should watch the sprays of milk and when this subsides, turn off the pump. This might take 5 minutes for some women and 25 minutes for others; you don’t pump for 20 minutes just to pump for 20 minutes. After you turn off the pump, it is recommended you try to hand express for 5-10 minutes into the pump flange since that can sometimes double your output and you can get more hindmilk which is the richest milk for your baby.

Maternal factors influence milk volume and things like stress, anxiety, fatigue and illness can decrease milk production significantly. Having an ill or premature baby can call on all these factors, so it is really important to be kind to yourself and give yourself time. It is crucial important to try to sleep and rest regularly, eat well and drink lots of fluids since your own nutritional status during lactation can affect milk volume and composition.

It is also important to know that there are experts out there who can help you so you don’t have to suffer in silence. If you’re having problems or concerns don’t hesitate to call Annerley and schedule an appointment with our breastfeeding consultant or one of our midwives. Or as a home visit.

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My two Birth Stories – Kristrun Lind

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My two Birth Stories – Kristrun Lind

Posted on 21 December 2013 by Kristrun

I gave birth to two children in a public hospital in Hong Kong. I had great support from the midwives at Annerley who educated me along the way. My vision was not that clear, I hoped for normal births with as little interventions as possible.
My first birth was at the QMH hospital. I had learned a few tips regarding what to expect in the hospital and all worked out for us. My first birth was very long, started very early on Friday morning and my daughter Johanna was born around 2pm on a Sunday. I happy familystayed at home until Saturday morning with my midwife and in active labour I went into QMH and straight into the delivery room. Something happened and the contractions dropped and I was transferred into the common ward. Equipped with instructions from my midwife – I was ordered to rest and sleep and the plan was to induced me in the morning. Hubby went home and rested as well. The next morning as planned I was induced, hubby was there and things moved as planned, induced with a walking epidural. When baby was about to pop out the staff panicked probably because I was on my knees and they started trying to pull her out – my husband firmly but politely requested that nature would have her way and they allowed it. 4 hours after being induced she was born. After quick examination where (high score healthy baby) they gave me my daughter and I managed to get her on the breast – the happiest moment in my life. The most wonderful sound in the world was to hear her breath.

The moment was interrupted when the pediatrician walked in and wanted to have Johanna transferred into the special unit because of “a risk of infection” (due to prolonged labour) – I could not believe my ears. My husband called our midwife and she explained how the hospital guidelines in HK differ from other countries – where this would never be suggested. And that the baby would be perfectly safe with us. So we said NO to having her separated from us and from there we requested to leave the hospital. It took them a while to sort out the papers but a few hours later we were home – continuing enjoying the moment. Our midwife came to see us the next day, followed by more home visits where she made sure everything was going well. We never went back to the hospital for follow up, the midwife took care of all off that. We enjoyed staying at home getting into the routine and getting used to being a new family.

My second birth was at the United Christian hospital. I negotiated beforehand that the baby would not be separated from us unless there was a matter of life or death. They agreed. It meant that I would need to take care of the vaccinations myself privately – as they would normally take the baby out of the room for washing and vaccinations.

Contractions started at 1am on a Tuesday morning, my midwife came around 9am, she sent us to the hospital 30 minutes later. Baby Tomas was born 10.30 am and we were out of the hospital before 12pm. They examined him on the table in the room, gave him to me – we had some time to put him on the breast and sort us out – then straight home.

It´s from my personal experience that I can highly recommend our best of both package with midwife care during labour, it´s the perfect setup for giving birth in Hong Kong. You have the public system there – the safest place to give birth in in HK. You have a fixed package and you know exactly how much you will need to pay – no matter how things go. You have private personal care combined with general public hospital care.

Happy holidays

Xx

Kristrun

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Extended Breastfeeding, why bother? By Conchita Amende

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Extended Breastfeeding, why bother? By Conchita Amende

Posted on 29 November 2013 by Kristrun

mastitis, breast-feeding, newborn, sore breastsIt is commonly known that exclusive breastfeeding is the ideal scenario for your baby during its first months of life. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and it is around this time that you will start to wean your child and introduce solid foods. This does not mean, however, that breastfeeding should stop just because it is no longer the only required form of nutrition.

There are many reasons to carry on. Your milk will change with your growing child, but the health benefits in the form of vitamins, antibodies and immunoglobulin are still very much present and continuing to protect your baby and lower the risk of allergies.
But the benefits do not only lie with your little one. Nursing – and as your infant grows into a toddler this may be just once or twice a day – is a wonderful time of bonding and closeness. Your life will have moved on from the all-encompassing newborn and baby-stage and you may also have older children to attend to. Taking the time to breastfeed is a great excuse to slow down, hold your child close and look into each other’s eyes. In a busy life, breastfeeding is a beautiful “time-out”.
It is also free. Use the money you save on not buying formula on some good quality vitamin drops, which I do recommend after 6 months of age (for breastfed babies).

See Conchita at home or in the office for Breastfeeding advice and early childhood challenges.

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Testimonial from Regina

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Testimonial from Regina

Posted on 18 September 2013 by Kristrun

I just wanted to let you know how supportive the staff at Annerley have been during my pregnancy & now in caring for my daughter. When I moved to Hong Kong, I was 12 weeks pregnant. It was a bit daunting to be pregnant in a foreign country where I wasn’t familiar with the medical system and had limited social support. From the start, through Belly to Belly Workshops and antenatal classes, the staff at Annerley provided me with opportunities to learn about the maternity system in Hong Kong, gave me the tools hlep me to advocate for myself within the system, and provided me with all the information I needed for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. In working with Sofie during Belly to Belly workshops, one to one meetings, and the positioning class, I had a very fast labor and was able to have the non medicalized, drug-free birth I wanted. Given my history as brain tumor survivor, it would have been easy for the highly medicalized physicians in Hong Kong to convince me that I needed a scheduled c-section. However, the staff at Annerley taught me what questions to ask the physicians, how to express my wishes, and how I would know if and when medical interventions would be necessary. It was very useful when Sofie taught me about the importance of posture during pregnancy to help with the baby’s position. I was thrilled with my labor and birth, being able to labor in the different positions Sofie taught and even deliver standing up.
The midwife visits after returning home from the hospital with my daughter helped my husband and me feel more comfortable caring for our daughter and more confident in our parenting. The night we arrived home, my daughter was having some difficulty eating and it was very comforting to know that Rowena would be visiting the next morning to help sort us out. During those early weeks, having Rowena and Conchita visit helped us get through difficult days and nights. Breastfeeding was difficult for me due to my medical history and without the support of Annerley and the visiting midwives, I would not have been able to breastfeed at all. With proper planning before my daughter’s birth and support afterwards, I was able to provide breast milk to my daughter for 10 weeks. While that might seem like a short time for many mothers, for me, it was a major accomplishment. During those 10 weeks, when things got difficult & I wasn’t sure I could continue, support from Conchita helped very much. Her family centered and strengths based approach helped me to think through what the goal was for me, my baby and my family and what was going to make for a happy mom and happy baby, without any pressure to continue breastfeeding. Since giving birth, I have come to clinic, had home visits, and one to one meetings with Conchita. I appreciate that I can ask any parenting, childcare or medical question, no matter how big or small. And unlike visits with pediatricians, Conchita focuses on our entire family’s wellness and happiness, not just our baby’s. It is very comforting to know that Conchita and the staff at Annerley are available through all the stages of my daughters development. I am looking forward to discussing the next milestone with Conchita, starting solids. Conchita has been able to provide the medical support and emotional support that all new parents need.
My helper took Conchita’s course, “Caring for 0-12 month old babies” in the spring. My helper has over 20 years raising Western children but my husband and I felt strongly that she take a course from the same professionals who were teaching our antenatal and childcare classes. When my helper came home from the course each day, she was energized and shared with me the different things that she learned. It was fantastic that Conchita taught her new things and sent her home with “homework assignments”. It encouraged her to have conversations with me about what she was learning. Some of the highlights for both of us included baby proofing the house, how to encourage language development, and starting solids. It was wonderful that Conchita could make this information exciting to such a seasoned child care provider. Additionally, Conchita stressed to helpers in the class the importance of communication with employers. This ended up being a helpful reinforcement for both my helper and myself when after the baby arrived we realized we needed to communicate differently than we had before. I would highly recommend the course to all helpers who will be working with infants regardless of how much experience they have.
The services at Annerley fill the gap many of us feel without local family and give new parents the opportunity to get support on childcare and parenting, which is something the medical system does not routinely provide.
Thank you for all that you do,

Regina Karchner September 2013

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Breastfeeding in government hospitals in Hong Kong

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Breastfeeding in government hospitals in Hong Kong

Posted on 21 August 2013 by hulda

BREASTFEEDING IN GOVERNMENT HOSPITALS IN HONG KONGBy Hulda Thorey –  Published in SassyMama – 10 April 2013

Breastfeeding is promoted, encouraged and supported in Hong Kong government hospitals in principal. However, in practice, the level of support offered can vary. Although well meaning, some staff may want to follow routines that are not necessarily in the best interests of the breastfeeding mother, but an informed and prepared mother can confidently stand her ground to get what’s best for her and her baby. Here, Hulda Thorey, midwife and founder of Annerley, provides advice on how to prepare for breastfeeding in the government system. 

Breastfeeding immediately after birth

Nowadays, if everything around your baby’s birth is normal, most hospitals will not take them away for the traditional initial check; and a request to have the baby given straight to you means that you can usually initiate immediate breastfeeding. Of course, on the rare occasion a baby is not doing so well straight after birth and the hospital wants to transfer the baby to the special care unit for neonatal help, most parents are more than happy for the quick response.

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Natural birthing in Hong Kong

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Natural birthing in Hong Kong

Posted on 21 August 2013 by hulda

By Hulda Thorey –  Published in Geobaby – 30 May 2013

What’s to stop you from getting a natural birth in Hong Kong? According to Hulda Thorey, founder and head midwife at Annerley, it can be many things but not a lot if you know how to ask for it.

Natural birthing in Hong Kong

The first thing a mother-to-be should know is that having a natural birth experience in Hong Kong is not necessarily a matter of finance and being able to pay for what you want. Whether you go public or private, it’s more about having the knowledge and the confidence to work with the doctors or the system, and being able to ask for the right things at the right time.

A simple way to put it is that doctors and hospitals are programmed to use their medical skills and technology to get patients through procedures following the route of minimal risk, least pain and in the quickest timeframe.

On first investigation, natural birth doesn’t appear to match these criteria. With the best intentions and without your consent, doctors usually follow the path they feel most comfortable with.

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7 propular birth myths exploded: Hulda Thorey presents some real facts of childbirth

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7 propular birth myths exploded: Hulda Thorey presents some real facts of childbirth

Posted on 21 August 2013 by hulda

7 POPULAR BIRTH MYTHS EXPLODED: HULDA THOREY PRESENTS SOME REAL FACTS OF CHILDBIRTH

By Hulda Thorey –  Published in SassyMama – 29 July 2013

If there is one area where old wives’ tales abound, it’s on the matter of childbirth! Hulda Thorey, Head Midwife, Founder (and Chief myth-buster) at Annerley gives us some truths about what to really expect come D-day.

Myth 1: The most painful part of labour is when the baby’s head comes out

Truth: This might look like the most painful part – and it might be one reason that some doctors rush to give an episiotomy, as they struggle to trust that a woman’s body was built to give birth – but most women find this the least painful part of the process, as the perineum is stretched and numb so pain is greatly reduced. In addition, because you are at the end of the birth journey, the emotion of relief and excitement can also help dull any pain.

A useful midwife’s trick of the trade is to apply a warm compress to the area to further ease pain at this stage.

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Annerley Midwives’ Best Tips For Mothers-To-Be!

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Annerley Midwives’ Best Tips For Mothers-To-Be!

Posted on 27 May 2013 by hulda

Best Tips For Mothers-To-Be!

  • IMG_8870Be an active participant in your own pregnancy and birth. Respond to signals you get as you know your body best, not the doctor or the midwife.
  • Do a tour of the maternity ward where you wish to give birth. Ask what your options are regarding your partner, positions for birth, pain relief etc. Listen to the response and prepare accordingly.
  • Attend antenatal classes for preparation for the childbirth. Whether you are  aiming for a natural birth, or planning a C-section consider doing extra classes that cover these areas.
  • When breastfeeding your baby, expect it to take between 4 – 6 weeks for it to feel established.
  • Remember that every pregnancy is different, advice from friends and relatives is kindly meant, but often doesn’t apply in your case!
  • Pregnancy is a time to start preparing for a baby – get used to multitasking, cat-napping and unplanned events.
  • The expert in the labour room is you.
  • Your baby does not have to rule your life, but it will change it. Find ways to adjust and enjoy the change, rather than control it all.
  • newbornThe more often you breastfeed your baby, the more milk you will have. You cannot save up milk by feeding less often.
  • After birth, it takes about 6 weeks for the body to achieve much of its healing. Even after that, understand that it will still take time before you feel totally healed.
  • A normal healthy baby will cry to express its feelings. Use the first days to learn to know what different types of cry mean.
  • An unsettled baby will often relax when lying on its front. Even though this is not a recommended position for sleep, it is fine to try this to settle the baby, and while you are around the baby.
  • A bath is an excellent way to soothe a baby. Fill the tub well and make sure the water and the room are nice and warm. A hungry baby will cry in the bathtub, so a small feed beforehand is a good idea.
  • Big breasts or small breasts, it makes no difference when it comes to making milk.
  • Bad habits are defined by you, not your mother or a book.
  • Enjoy the moment and worry about tomorrow tomorrow. Perhaps your worries just died during the nighttime.
  • Eat protein rich, high fibre and iron rich food in the first days after birth. Drink at least three litres of water and take vitamin C supplements.Two women friends chatting over coffee at home
  • Sex after childbirth might feel a bit different but you are safe to have intercourse anytime after four weeks, or when you both are ready. You might need KY gel because of hormones involved in lactation can leave things a little dry.
  • Pain is usually there for a reason. If you can’t identify that reason, get help.
  • As soon as you are able after the birth, make sure you leave the flat at least once a day. Take a walk or meet a friend – just change your environment a little.

On line education, support and consultation available. Wide range of services in our clinic for Hong Kong residents.

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mommy-and-baby

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Are Home Visits from Midwives Necessary?

Posted on 07 August 2012 by Annerley

Some of the other women in my pre-natal class seem to be very busy organising midwife home visits for after their babies are born. I don’t really see why this is necessary. What are the benefits of having a midwife visit? Do visits really need to be booked in advance or does it make more sense to see how the land lies after my baby has arrived? Thanks.

Hulda responds:

The time after you have given birth is one of great change.  You do not know how you will adapt in your new role.  Different services are available in different countries, however normally there is a team of care providers who work together to support you over this time with a percentage of this care being home-based. In Hong Kong, once you are discharged from the hospital the following services are available to you:

  • Maternal child health nurses in the government clinics
  • Private midwives
  • Your paediatrican
  • Well baby clinics.

It is good to have your babies weighed every week in the first month after birth.  For most of these options you have to go somewhere, which can be quite difficult to get your head around, so having someone come to your house who will spend time just focusing on you and your family is a good option.

The reasons families book home visits with midwives in advance is to ensure someone is coming to check-in on them, do a postnatal check, weigh the baby, check the baby and help with any other issues that may arise.  We know that continuity of care in the provision of appropriate support through pregnancy and birth is important so it is good if you have met the midwife prior to the birth.  We also know there is more than one way to care for your baby or else everyone would be doing the same thing.  So these care providers should be able to listen to your needs and provide you with information, not instruction.  The definition of a midwife is “with woman,” to assist the woman by providing her with knowledge to make an informed choice.  And this is definitely the way the midwives I know strive to work.

It is not necessary to book visits in advance, however be aware that most of the midwives are fairly busy and if you have not planned any home visits you may not be able to get someone at short notice. Although they will definitely do their best!  If you decide booking home visits with a midwife is not for you, please do not wait until things are really difficult, for example before you decide that breastfeeding is becoming so painful that you hate doing it and are on the verge of giving up.  When this is the case, it is uncommon for problems to be solved in a one hour visit.  If things are becoming challenging please call early, maybe a solution can be found with just a small modification by phone or email.  Whereas if things are really hard, you may end up struggling more than is necessary.

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Thank you Emma and Olivia!

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Thank you Emma and Olivia!

Posted on 29 March 2012 by hulda

Emma Saunders, who recently gave birth to Olivia, had this to say about her experience with Annerley:

“After hearing such positive feedback about Hulda and the team at Annerley I had no hesitation in booking my package when finding out I was pregnant. The antenatal classes with Fiona were perfect in preparing us for the birth of our baby. It also gave us an opportunity to meet other parents, who in fact have become great friends.

When Olivia was born I had a tricky time with breastfeeding.  The first stages of motherhood were quite daunting and the visits from Fiona and then Hulda were an amazing support. The help and advice were incredible and I can really say it is what got me through the first few months. It really is such a great comfort to know there is someone there to reassure and guide you. I felt much calmer when Hulda arrived and so did Olivia! Watching her with Olivia was very special and I learnt so much. It really is like you’re sitting with a member of your family and how amazing to have that when your family are so far away.

Thank you so much for everything; I don’t know what we would have done without you and the whole team at Annerley.  What is so special is that you always feel there is somewhere to go to and even at 3 months I am still reassured to know that Hulda and her team are only a phone call away. I will continue to enjoy the expertise and courses that Annerley have to offer now and in the future.  I recommend Annerley to all new parents. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed but just ecstatic that you have found the best support network in HK to see you through your pregnancy, birth and first stages of motherhood!”

Emma Saunders, 2012

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