‘Balloon Method’ of Induction of Labour

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Written by midwife Sally Underwood… As you will possibly be aware there are currently several different methods of induction routinely being used by health care professionals. These include a cervical sweep, a propess pessary, prostoglandin gel, an artificial rupture of membranes and then ultimately a syntocinon (artificial oxytocin) infusion.  The most common reason for induction of labour is a prolonged pregnancy. Normal Labour (term) indicates spontaneous labour between 37 – 41 + 5 days. Research indicates that after 41 completed … Read More

The Transitional Stage of Labour

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Written by Sally Underwood …Almost there – oh my goodness – this is it!! Labour consists of 4 stages –  Latent phase; when the cervix ripens, effacement takes place and you get to around 4cm dilated. First stage; when the cervix dilates from 4cm – 10cm, with regular surges.  The surges will become stronger, longer, and more frequent – usually about every 5 minutes, lasting 40-60 seconds  Second stage; the birth of your baby Third stage; the separation and delivery … Read More

Positive Birth

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Ana, Chris and Alice; Our Birth Story I was 40 weeks when my midwife offered me a sweep… I was nervous about saying yes to it but she reassured me that she would only do it if my cervix was favourable. At 40 weeks + 6 I woke up and went for a long walk with my dog and my neighbour who was also pregnant at the time. Afterwards, I went for my appointment and my midwife performed the sweep – the … Read More

Caesarean Section – Under General Anaesthetic

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Caesarean section (c/s) involves the removal of the baby from the intact uterus by abdominal operation.  In recent years, the indications for the operation have increased considerably. In most teaching hospital trusts in the UK, the rate of c/s ranges from around 30 – 40% of the number of term births, which is a massive increase to the WHO recommendation of a 15% incidence. The main reason for having a c/s are dystocia, fetal distress, breech presentation and previous c/s. … Read More

A note from Sally…

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Dear all – What a year!  What a year it has been for us all. This time last year we would never have expected to have been subjected to such restrictions and challenges.  Sadly, for many of us, there has been heartache and huge amounts of stress. We have all been impacted in one way or another, having to change so much about the way we live and work and be us. I for one have found it rather difficult … Read More


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Written by midwife Sally Underwood Having an Epidural – although not planned – can still be POSITIVE. I believe that childbirth can be an empowering and positive experience that you treasure for the rest of your life. The skills and techniques you learn within our antenatal KG Hypnobirthing training programme can shorten your labour and reduce your need for pain relief, but sometimes you may well need more and have to embrace a change of plan!  I recently spoke with … Read More

Birth Planning

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Planning birth – The birth of your baby should be a wonderful, life-changing experience for you and for your family. It is a time of new beginnings, of fresh hopes and new dreams, of change and opportunity. Ideally you will be able to make an informed choice re your place of birth and the options available within each setting, with your birth partner and your midwifery team – especially if you have joined one of our antenatal and hypnobirthing courses. … Read More

What are the benefits of a water birth?

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Written by Midwife Sally Underwood For many years, midwives have encouraged women to use water during pregnancy and labour because they have found it’s calming, and soothing properties really assist with progress and pain relief. I have observed over the years, that women react to pain in different ways and that although water does not give complete pain relief, it often reduces the pain women feel to a manageable level, so they do not need additional methods of pain relief … Read More

Group B Strep and a Caesarean Section…was Hypnobirthing really necessary?

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Written by UB Academy Midwife Sally Underwood and a Mothers account by Emily Blake. YES IT WAS!!! We constantly inform women that Hypnobirthing can be used for all births, whether that’s at home, in the birth centre, or even a caesarean section. The tools and information you will learn really do provide such a huge amount of knowledge…remembering KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! The lovely Emily attended our Hypnobirthing course in the summer, pregnant with her second baby and keen to have a more … Read More

Alcohol and Pregnancy

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A midwife’s point of view, by Sally Underwood Harsh habit – Cheers – or NOT? Alcohol and pregnancy really do not mix. Advice from the Royal college of Obstetricians (RCOG) suggests that is safest to avoid alcohol during your whole pregnancy. This is because alcohol passes through the placenta to your little baby. The more you drink – the risk of harm increases BUT what if, like me when I was having at least 3 of my children, I drank … Read More