Pregnant? We asked a midwife 8 questions!

06 December 2023

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At Naïf we think it is important to give all kids an as good as possible start of life. That starts at conception, or even before - according to midwife Manon de Graaf. But with so much information available this can be easier said than done. That's why Naïf's Romi and Eliza visited Liva Midwife Practice to ask about everything you want to know.

1. Can you listen to the baby's heartbeat during the first appointment?

""Can we listen to the heartbeat?" - is a frequently asked question in the practice. The first appointment is around 10 weeks and we can't hear the heart until 12 weeks. Before this the baby is behind the public bone and hard to reach. So no, you can't hear the heartbeat of the baby during the first appointment. But from 7 weeks on we can see the heartbeat on an ultrasound!"

2. Smoking and drinking before and during pregnancy, what's up with that?

"A lot of people know that smoking and drinking during pregnancy can be harmful to the baby. A great start begins during conception. That's why quitting smoking nicotine and drinking alcohol before pregnancy can be a valuable contribution when you are trying to conceive."

3. Do you need to supplement folic acid during your whole pregnancy?

"Taking folic acid is recommendend when trying to conceive. Folic acid helps to reduce the chance of abnormalities in the first stages of pregnancy (so already before conception!). A great moment to start taking a supplement is when you stop taking your birth control. You don't have to supplement during the whole pregnancy, it's only necessary during the beginning. You can stop taking it after the first 10 weeks have passed."

4. An extensive birth plan, yay or nay?

"We do get very extensive birth plans occasionally. It's good to know how you want it and to have all your desires listed. Our tip: keep it short and concise. We usually don't call it a birth plan, but birth wishes, because it's simply impossible to really plan. It usually goes very different than the perfect picture you imagined. When you are adamant on trying to stick to the plan it's really hard to surrender, which is very important during birth."

"Write your plan based on trust. What do you need from us, instead of what you don't want like pain management. We rather not perform unnecessary medical interventions either. We think it's important to have a calm and peaceful experience built on trust and we try to inform our clients on this as much as possible. One tip is to print out your birth wishes, this way you can hand it over to the medical staff when the birth unexpectedly turn medical."

 5. Does maternity care take over after birth?

"We think of maternity care as an extension of us after birth. They do daily check-ups for temperature and feedings and they inform us on the health of baby and parent. We come by every other day for the first 10 days to pick up all the information collected by maternity care."

"It's a combined responsibility of maternity care and the midwife to give the best start to baby and parent, although we as midwives are responsible in the end. And after 6 weeks mom comes for a check-up to the practice. That's such an amazing transformation to see, suddenly there's a mom with her baby. We really try to offer a relationship based on trust with our clients. It's a big deal: from the first time you meet until the birth and after."

6. Is skincare (like diet) also important during pregnancy?

"It's not an integral part yet, but we it is becoming more common. For example it is really important to use sunscreen when you go on holiday, because you are prone to pigmentation spots during pregnancy."

7. Is the midwife practice only for pregnant people?

"It's nice for the partner to be involved in the pregnancy and to come along during the check-ups. Of course it's also really important when we start talking about birth. We also offer consulting in groups. Women are individually checked, but we also offer various partner sessions. Birth and the so called 4th trimester (the maternity period) are being discussed, but there's also a partner coach that helps partners prepare for these events."

8. Can the partner bond with the baby during pregnancy?

"Bonding usually happens after birth, it's really difficult do this during pregnancy. In the first week after birth and after it's important for partners to at least have 20 minutes of skin on skin contact with the baby. This also makes for a nice moment to 'check out' and put your phone away. Just really take in this moment with the baby on your chest. Super important!"

A last tip from Manon:

"Have trust in your birth team and don't be afraid to surrender. We are there for you and with you. The key is to know what to expect. It's important to prepare on what's to come, but it's even more important to find a middle ground. Make sure you know enough to not get overwhelmed by surprises, but also be prepared to surrender when things go different than planned."


Pregnant? We’re there for you!

Pregnant? We’re there for you!

There are a lot of changes during pregnancy. And that is pretty exciting! Those first 1.000 days are important for a baby. Let us help you with all your questions and worries. Sign up for our newsletter and be the first to know about.. well everything!

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