Poetry Corner

Couldn’t help but stick these up….they’re no use to anyone in a file on a computer! Having repeated myself hundreds (perhaps thousands) of times to women giving antenatal and postnatal advice I eventually put pen to paper and came up with these……

The Birth Partner

But what can I do? To help her on the day

How can I take those surges away?

You can’t I replied, you can’t do even one

But there is so much that can be done.

You can make sure she rests in that long lead up

You can bring her a tea in her favourite cup

You can make her feel like the queen that she is

You can run some errands, stop her getting in a tiz

But what can I do? Can I make it better?

Yes I said, she can do it just let her

But I don’t want to see her struggle and suffer

I’m the one that’s always been tougher

You can offer sips of water after each surge

You can hold back her hair should she need to purge

You can provide massage should it be her desire

You can give words of encouragement should she tire

But what can I do, I really want to help

I don’t want to faint, freak out or yelp

How will I know what she wants you see?

Listen to her, I said,  and listen to me

You can know her plans, her wishes, her preferences

You can get informed and know a few references

You can protect her from unwanted guests

You can hold her hand for any required tests

But what can I do if she doesn’t want any of that?

Am I just going to sit there feeling a prat?

I want to help her, I love her you see

If she doesn’t want it, I said, then just leave her be

You can place a cool facecloth on her forehead

-Or a warm one on her perineum instead

You can set the room, play music, dim the light

You can be prepared for a sleepless night

But is that really doing anything for her?

She still has to feel each tightening, each surge

She still has to breathe through every contraction

Yes I said,  you’re the most important action

You being her advocate, her voice should she need

You breathing with her is extremely helpful indeed

You being there at her beck and call

For her, knowing you’re there, is most important of all.

Nadia Arthurs 2023 ©

A midwifes advice……..

“What is your plan for labour and birth?” is a question I frequently ask
To women attending for their antenatal check and some of them look at me aghast
“I definitely want an epidural some say, can I sign up now for it please”
“I definitely don’t want an epidural” say others expecting it will be a breeze

The woman wishing for the epidural will surely labour fast and furiously
While the journey takes days for the woman wishing to be analgesia free
My reply is the same whomever I meet, whatever their wish or desire
For navigating the needs of a woman in labour is not some dangerous quagmire

I tell them to keep an open mind for turns that their journey may take
I tell them not to get fixated on one thing, to give themselves a break
I tell them that life does not always turn out the way we want it to
I tell them to be prepared is the best that we can do

I tell them that the majority is mind over matter
I tell them not to listen to incessant head chit chatter
I tell them to relax, to calmly breathe and gently move
I tell them to focus and get into their own birthing groove

I tell them that every action we take has a reaction too
I tell them to ask for more time if they’re unsure what to do
I tell them the importance of feeling safe and respected
I tell them they should never, ever, feel neglected

I tell them to have an strong advocate by their side
I tell them there is no shame in having tried
I tell them there is no such thing as failing birth
I tell them to believe in their ability and their worth

I tell them they have choices in all we say and do
I tell them that to their own selves be true
Lastly, I tell them that a change in plans is not the end of the world
A bend is not the end of the road just a journey to be unfurled.

Nadia Arthurs 2023 ©

Amazing  Birth

There is nothing more amazing on this planet earth
Than to be present at a baby’s birth
To watch a woman labour,  perhaps to sweat and moan
To work her way through with every grunt and groan
To observe her rock and sway her hips
To breathe gently through carefully pursed lips
To hug and hold her partner close
To come alive and then to doze
To see a baby emerge in that final hour
To sense a woman’s amazing power
But also when things take a different course
And choices are made with absolutely no remorse
And actions taken to improve outcome
Are welcomed from the days of none.
Whatever problems may arise
The ultimate goal is to hear baby’s cries
To watch as mum holds her baby close
And examines them from head to toe
Birth is amazing whatever the mode may be
Caesarean, instrumental, breech or SVD…..

Nadia Arthurs 2016©

9 Months

One month and the colour of the stick may change,

Or perhaps you start to feel a little strange…..

Frequent night time trips to the loo

And your breasts may be fuller too.

Two months and perhaps your tummy’s feeling queasy

And keeping breakfast down’s not easy!

Nights out really have to make you think

To come up with good excuses not to drink.

Month three brings the first trimester to an end

You may announce the pregnancy to family and friend

The placenta takes over the hard work of growing baby

And you should start feeling less queezy- more energy maybe!

Four months in and you may finally notice a bump

Perhaps you’ll feel a flutter that at first may make you jump!

Five months and there’s absolutely no doubt

Of when your little munchkin is playing about

Six months and yes that bellys getting bigger

With it comes indigestion -caused by any trigger!

In addition the night trips to the loo may return

Making sleep impossible when combined with heartburn!

Seven months sees the third trimester commence

You may feel your tummy become a little tense

As your uterus gets practicing with a few Braxton Hicks

And baby gets stronger with their flips and kicks.


Eight months and it’s time to massage that perineum

Daily for 5-10minutes -now that isn’t too extreme!

Babys head may descend and perhaps may engage

Or perhaps it will do so at a later stage

Nine months perhaps you feel you’ve done enough

The last few weeks of pregnancy for many can be tough

But you may have to hang in there for another week or two

As term is from 37 weeks to 2 weeks over due!

But fear not the end of pregnancy is in sight

And there’s really no reason when all is well to expedite

For those last few weeks are really just a tester

Of what to expect in the fourth trimester………..

Nadia Arthurs 2016©

The Latent Phase of Labour


The latent phase of labour, for some can be a pain
It’s when you think things have started- but then they stop again!
This phase can last for hours, days or even weeks
While you’re timing all too carefully those trying troughs and peaks


Best thing is to ignore them, until they can’t be ignored
As it’s unlikely you’ll be quite ready, for the labour ward…
Until those contractions become frequent, regular and strong
Don’t worry niggling is normal….there’s absolutely nothing wrong!


As long as you’ve been healthy and baby’s moving well
Just stay at home and relax….when it’s active labour you’ll know well!
Those niggles will get stronger and closer together too
And you have to concentrate on breathing to get through.


The restful gap between them will shorten with progress
It’s important to stay calm….don’t let yourself get stressed.
So while this latent phase unfolds do yourself a favour
And stay at home until you feel, you’re in established labour!

Nadia Arthurs 2016©

The Pelvic Floor


It’s not commonly talked about, in fact it’s a bit taboo

Affecting women of all ages, and may affect you too.

What is the secret subject? What topic so hard core?

It’s what holds us ladies in- of course our pelvic floor!


A third of women have problems- before they ever have babies

It’s no wonder we have a country of, so many leaky ladies!

It’s important to perform daily, this easy peasy chore

And consciously make the effort, to work that pelvic floor!


Carrying a baby to full term, can cause a good few issues

-but it’s just not good enough, to stuff your briefs with tissues!

Don’t let this incontinence, be an issue to ignore

And so get on the case, and engage your pelvic floor!


Postnatally it may be, the last thing on your mind

And yes it’s oh so important, to yourself, be kind…

But as soon as you are on the mend and no longer sore,

Try to tighten and tone up, your poor old pelvic floor!


Now comes the essential part….you need to continue for life,

If you want to avoid incontinence and with it all the strife!

So listen to your midwife, physiotherapist don’t ignore

And be sure you strengthen up, your wonderful pelvic floor!

Nadia Arthurs © 2016 www.labouroflove.ie



From the very first flutter that you feel
Even if you’re not sure it’s real
You should take some time out everyday
To connect with your unborn at play


Take to a quiet, comfortable place
And wait for babe to move within their space
At first they may not be daily kicks
But when they are be aware of this.


Be conscious of the toss and turn
The somersault that makes tummy churn
Guess which part is hand or foot
Is that a head or is it the butt?
Getting punched to the left or right?
All internal or in plain sight…
Like an alien trying to exit your tummy
If it wasn’t so tender it would certainly be funny!


Create awareness of each wriggle
Watch your belly jerk and jiggle
Be aware of your baby’s regular  pattern
Knowing what’s the norm does matter


If ever you feel somethings just not right
Don’t stay awake worrying through the night
Go and get yourself checked out
And clear yourself of any doubt


Making time for this precious moment
Can help reduce so much torment
So go on and have a guess
And practice daily mindfetalness!

Nadia Arthurs 2016©

The Latch

Tummy to mummy and nipple to nose

Keep them awake by tickling toes

With mouth open wide bring baby to breast

Be assured that this is not a pass/fail test

For some it may take some time to attach

While others achieve an immediate latch

Yes the first ten seconds may cause toes to curl

Just count back from 10 they should gently unfurl

Breastfeeding should not cause pain

But before trying to latch on again

Tuck babys bottom into your body

And pain may disappear from a latch that was shoddy

Cracked bleeding and bruised nipples are not the norm

But tenderness is common with the latch of a newborn.

Feeds are often in the first few weeks

As are the number of short naps and sleeps

The early days can be tough but you’ll get through it together

As the saying goes ‘nothing lasts forever……’

Nadia Arthurs 2016©

Breast is……

Breast is best until it’s not, but it is surely worth a shot

To give your baby liquid gold, protecting them ‘till they get old.

The benefits span far and wide, across the great economic divide

Yes the choice to feed is everybodys -but wouldn’t you want those antibodies?

What a way to provide protection, and reduce so many nasty infections!

Also there’s a reduction in cases, for breastfed babies needing braces

You’ll also be in your pre-preg jeans, by the time that your infant weans

As breastfeeding is natures liposuction, what a method of weight reduction!

Yes, the start can at times be rough, for some women nature made it tough

Why? There are a few we’ll never know, but it’s most definitely worth a go

For maybe you’ll be one to feed with ease, and find latching baby on a breeze.

It matters not if nipples are large or flat, or inverted – there’s solutions for that

Large breasts,  small breasts, in between, older mama or young teen

Red head, brunette, black haired, blonde- try out breastfeeding, boost the bond

Between you and your darling baby, and hell who knows, just maybe…

You’ll surprise yourself and successfully feed, as long as you and babe both need!

Nadia Arthurs 2016©

The Contraception Quandary

If you’re sure your family is complete, then there’s an issue to address
What method of contraception, has the best rate of success?
The only way, to be completely sure, is really very plain,
For the remainder of your fertile life, you must be happy to abstain!

If this is not an option, there are many others to explore,
There’s a few barrier methods and hormonal ones galore.
Condoms are commonly used and can prevent sti’s
Cumbersome for some ..but not as much as a babys cries!

The cap and the diaphragm, when fitted correctly can prevent
Those little tadpole swimmers from making an ascent.
A spermicidal lubricant should also be applied,
To minimise the chance of crossing to the other side!

Hormonal methods vary, in their content and administration
From swallowing daily tablets to uterine implantation.
The implanon bar in the arm lasts a lengthy 3 years
While the 3 weekly ring and patch won’t cause you any tears.

More permanent methods include for women, tubal ligation
Or for the men consider vasectomy, the male sterilisation.
Natural tracking of fertility, is worthwhile for some
But is no guarantee that you won’t become a mum!

Breastfeeding or L.A.M., can be effective with strict criteria
But the frequent night feeds, may cause a little deleria!
Don’t be fooled by the method known as ‘pulling out’
Semen can be released while just messing about.

So whether you’re sure your family is completely done
Or you want to wait, before trying, for the next little one
Spend the time to research, the option that’s right for you
And you won’t have to worry about a pregnancy out of the blue!

Nadia Arthurs 2016©

Sleep guide….

Rock a bye baby, sleep on your back

Feet to the bottom, make sure there’s no gap

Clear all the teddies and toys from babes head

Keep them for babys playtime instead

Remove your baby from all passive smoke

Take off the bib so baby won’t choke

Ensure that the room is kept nice and warm

Sixteen to twenty degrees is the norm

Its recommended to room in for 26 weeks

Then you can choose where your baby sleeps

Use cellular blankets and don’t overheat

Instead put extra socks on cold little feet

Rock a bye baby, breastfeed if you can

Protection from sids was in nature’s plan

Bed sharing is best with a co-sleeping cot

Never between parents it gets far too hot.

Nadia Arthurs 2016©