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Simply Better Births Blog

Are the NHS cutting umbilical cords too soon?

According to childcare specialists, a baby’s umbilical cord should be left uncut just after birth. At present the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) advocates clamping and cutting the cord immediately, but the National Childbirth Trust and some medical experts are now saying the cord should be untouched for up to a few minutes to ensure that the baby continues to receive blood from the placenta and does not later become iron-deficient.

Ice, Ice Babies

large_Ice Ice Babies 09.04.13_0.jpgWomen are waiting until later in life to start a family now. Nearly half of the babies born in England and Wales are to women aged 30 or older and as a form of ‘fertility insurance’ some are turning to egg freezing. Although egg freezing has been legal for more than a decade in Britain, fertilisation rates have been poor.

Men account for four out of ten infertile couples…

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A recent study of 26,000 Frenchmen showed a drop in fertility as measured by their sperm count. Sperm samples from these men were analysed and showed that a 32% drop from 74 million/ml in 1989 to 50 million/ml in 2005.

Newborn Hearing Screener

Newborn Hearing Screener 19.04.13.jpgYour baby will be offered a series of routine health checks in the first few weeks of life. This will include a hearing screening test carried out by a trained hearing screener. A small soft-tipped earpiece is placed in the outer part of your baby’s ear, sending clicking sounds down the ear. When receiving sound, the inner part- the cochlea- usually produces an echo. The screening equipment picks up this response.

Skin to skin contact is good for babies


Don’t let go of your baby in that first hour!


In many modern hospital settings, newborn babies are isolated from their mothers immediately after birth, to be washed, weighed and footprinted. But dozens of well-designed studies have shown that this time is critical for the baby’s health, emotional wellbeing and connection with its mother. 

It’s normal for new mothers to be a bit OCD, experts confirm

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Contrary to recent frightening statistics on cases of OCD in new mothers it has now been said by scientists that mothers who constantly check that their baby is breathing or run around the house cleaning every available surface should not necessarily worry that they are behaving abnormally. They are simply suffering from post-partum obsessive compulsive disorder.

When can I find out if it is a boy or a girl?

Old wives’ tales say the shape of the bump is the key but a new book reveals the REAL way to predict a baby’s sex!

Science journalist Jenna Pincott wrote a book during her pregnancy using the latest medical understanding to answer some of the biggest mysteries and misconceptions of this extraordinary time.

Let’s Talk About the Blues

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The earlier postnatal depression is spotted, the better for everyone. If you would like to speak about postnatal depression with an independent midwife or discuss depression and pregnancy, Simply Better Births are here for you. You can also find out more information on postnatal depression and other problems after pregnancy here.

Prenatal vitamins are vital to babies

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Folic acid can protect your baby from more than spina bifida, it protects from any neural tube defect, including hydrocephalus, where fluid gets trapped in a baby’s brain causing it to swell frighteningly. This great medical advance stemmed from discovering that folic acid was necessary for the earliest embryonic step in brain and spinal cord development when it forms from the neural tube.

Should we really be giving new mums a test to see how they’re coping?

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Last week, a study at the Northwestern University in Chicago found that the number of women who suffer from postnatal depression is much higher than previously thought, with up to one in seven suffering from it. Furthermore, PND is rarely limited to a single episode, but often goes on to affect mental health in later life.

Why am I so tired now that I'm pregnant?

It's completely normal to feel tired when you're pregnant. 

When you're pregnant, huge changes take place in virtually every system in your body, which can make you feel extremely tired. Even if you're usually a night owl, you may find staying awake for a film, or even a 30-minute soap, virtually impossible now that you're pregnant. 

What is a c-section and why would I have one?

C-sections seem to be a hot topic right now, so what are the pros and cons of having a c-section and why would you need one? A caesarean section, or c-section, is the delivery of a baby through a surgical incision in the mother's abdomen and uterus. In certain circumstances, a c-section is scheduled in advance. In others, it's done in response to an unforeseen complication.

How bad is it to be stressed during pregnancy?

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Scientists have spent the last decade looking at whether pregnancy stress affects your baby’s wellbeing. Experts are trying to pinpoint if being stressed in pregnancy can have an effect independent of other factors which are commonly linked with it, such as early delivery or postnatal stress.

The Truth about Pregnant Fathers

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