Some women like to have pain relief during labour, this will not harm you or your baby. You can ask your nurse or midwife for pain relief.
Gas and Air: This works right away but doesn’t last long.
Pethidine: This is given through a needle in your bottom and helps with the pain but doesn’t get rid of it altogether. It takes about half an hour to work. It might make you sleepy and you might get sick.
Epidural: This is given through a need in the back. You will feel numb from the waist down and after the epidural but some women feel numb all the way up to their neck. You will be awake after having an epidural, but you won’t be able to walk around as it might leave your legs numb after a few hours after the birth.
You will be taken into a private room where you will have your baby. A midwife or consultant will be there to help you deliver your baby.
You will be asked if you want the baby to be put on your stomach or chest, this is called skin-to-skin and it is really good for you and your baby. This helps the mother and baby bond, keeps the baby warm and helps with breastfeeding.
After delivery, the baby will be checked over and you will be brought back to the ward.
The nurse will come around to check on you and the baby and will ask about feeding. It is important that they know you are an Irish Traveller so they can test the baby for Galactosaemia. The baby will be put on a special feed until the test comes back. This shouldn’t take more than 2 days.
You won’t be able to breastfeed until this test comes back but if you want to breastfeed, tell the nurse or midwife as soon as possible and they can help you express the milk. They can also try to get the results back for you faster.
Important: If the baby isn’t tested and has the condition, breast milk or formula can be really harmful and can damage the baby’s brain.
If you and your baby are well, you may decide to go home early and have the midwife visit you at home.