My Midwives

My Midwives

Christmas is both a blessing and a curse in the eyes of a pregnant woman waiting for a baby.  It offers a chance to be distracted by the world around you and all the comings and goings of friends and family.  But it is also hot (in Australia at least) and often means that you are left with whoever is ‘on’ over Christmas whilst care providers take leave making the time leading up to birth sometimes unnerving.  Lots of services scale back, you often find it more difficult to get some of the extras you are used to (ever tried getting a pregnancy massage over Christmas) and it can be disconcerting to those needing immediate attention.

Liz Wilkes, Managing Director of My Midwives remembers her own pregnancy journey 23 years ago when she was ‘due’ on 29th of December.  “It was tough.  There were no midwifery continuity of care services, there was a set schedule of the availability of doctors and hospital appointments and there was nothing in between.  I did feel quite lonely.  I couldn’t go interstate to my family, and it was hot.”

Fortunately, the array of services available over the Christmas period has improved.  “It is important to put in some plans about “what if”.  If you think you might need help before or after baby ask around, find out who is available over that period.  Our midwifery team is always available to women and families and will definitely support women who need it over the periods where other services may be closed.” Ms Wilkes added.

The following are great tips for pregnancy and new parenting over the Christmas period:

Birth is only one day

It is important to think about decisions like whether to be induced or not relative to your personal circumstances rather than the day baby may be born. If it is possible or desirable to let nature take its course, then that is best for you and your baby when things are straightforward.  Induction or caesareans to avoid certain days or to assist your care providers workload is not best practice.

Keep it simple

If you might still be pregnant or alternatively have a brand new baby, make sure your Christmas Day is low key.  Options where you can just participate in some of the day, without any additional effort, are really important.  You may not want to take a new baby out and that is OK!  Do what feels right for you and commit to the bare minimum of events.

Get support

Book a postnatal midwife, lactation consultant or GP visits between Christmas and New Year “just in case”.  If you know you have extra support, you may not need it.  Have it in place beforehand so that you feel less anxious about what you might be able to access.

Plan in advance

Get some food into the house, make sure the shopping for presents is done and that you have anything else that needs to be attended booked in early.  It is generally a busy time and jostling with crowds is going to be the last thing you will feel like doing if you are still pregnant.  If you have a new baby, you may not have time to attend to shopping and other jobs.

Dealing with the heat

If it is hot, make sure you are drinking plenty of fluids and resting in a cool place.  Having access to a pool or water anywhere can help but if that isn’t possible use cool showers and ice packs, fans or air conditioning to assist.  You need to stay hydrated while you are pregnant and when breastfeeding.


Try to think about the good things of having your family around you and use the time to catch up and enjoy either the last days of pregnancy or a new baby in the joyous once-a-year time.