| Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Tales from the delivery room

Time Out Kids chats to those in the know about D-Day

Active birth

‘In a nutshell, active birth means being upright during labour,’ says Health Bay Polyclinic’s midwife, Dru Campbell. ‘You don’t have to walk around for hours, you just need to use items like birth balls, mats, chairs, a bath, even straps hanging from the ceiling to support yourself if you squat – anything that helps you to not lie down. The “active” bit only really comes into effect once you’re four centimetres dilated, having minute-long contractions every five minutes. Before this stage, I recommend that women get some rest, eat a carbohydrate-packed meal and really build up their strength so that they’re as physically prepared as they can be for what lies ahead.’ Dru explains that certain pain relief during active birth is an option. ‘The simple fact that you’re able to move around helps. You can use a TENS machine, which delivers pulses into your back via little sticky pads and which you can intensify during contractions via the controls. There’s also Entonox – also called gas and air. Many women find water, lying in a bath for example, to be therapeutic, too. Hospitals in Dubai are definitely becoming more receptive to the active birth concept.’
For more information on active birth, contact the Midwifery and Baby Centre at the Health Bay Polyclinic in Umm Suqiem. www.healthbay.ae.

Mum says:
I had epidurals with my first two deliveries, and I really wanted to be able to have a drug-free birth with my third baby. I was scared at first because I thought I wouldn’t be able to deal with the pain. But the midwives were so reassuring and encouraging. Moving around really helped ease the contractions – at one point I stood in the shower for an hour! I would definitely recommend an active birth to other mums. It was a great experience.’
Tamsin, mum-of-three

Time Out Dubai,

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