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"La Grossesse n'est pas une maladie. C’est une belle aventure."

“Pregnancy is not an illness. It’s a beautiful adventure.”

Reading time: 10 minutes

Amelie F.: Midwife speaks openly about her vision of motherhood and her profession.

Where does your vocation for the profession of midwife come from?

"My vocation for the profession of midwife is deeply rooted in my passion for the medical field. From the start, I was attracted by the singularity of this profession. Working with patients, in a context where illness does not is not the main issue, but where technical skills are essential, represents for me a stimulating and captivating challenge. I obtained my diploma in Metz, and since then, every interaction with mothers and babies fuels my passion. from daily practice of medical procedures to moments of intense joy during the birth of a child, every aspect of this profession is both demanding and rewarding Of course, there are also difficult moments, like miscarriages that remind us. the fragility of life, but it is precisely this diversity of experiences that nourishes my passion and pushes me to give the best of myself as a midwife."

Where did you have the opportunity to work as a Midwife?

"I had the chance to work in various places which enriched my professional experience. My internships in Metz marked the beginning of my journey. Then, I had the exceptional opportunity to spend six weeks in Polynesia in Tahiti. After that, I worked for a year in Mayotte In addition to these overseas experiences, I also worked in mainland France and abroad, notably in Luxembourg. These different experiences allowed me to acquire. in-depth understanding of midwifery practice in diverse cultural and geographic environments."

The mainland versus the French Overseas Territories?

“The distinction between working in mainland France and in the French Overseas Territories is significant. In regions outside mainland France, the atmosphere is often more relaxed, and we tend to establish a more familiar relationship with patients, by speaking to them on familiar terms, for example. The feeling surrounding pregnancy is also different in the French Overseas Territories, I have noticed that the atmosphere is less stressful, with more direct contact with patients. They generally have less anxiety and show more. great confidence in the medical profession. Mayotte presents particular challenges. Patients do not always follow their pregnancy due to limited access to social security. Some of them come from the Comoros and cannot afford ultrasounds. due to financial constraints and differences in social security systems In addition, many residents of the French Overseas Territories are prone to diabetes, hypertension and pre-eclampsia, which can lead to serious health complications. maternal and fetal health. In these regions, epidurals are less commonly practiced, as they are not as widespread a part of medical cultural norms.

What do you think of the Epidural?

"I am in favor of the use of the epidural. I think it is important not to give in to trends that glorify childbirth without an epidural, sometimes seen as fashion effects. The epidural represents a method of assistance in very effective delivery. In metropolitan areas, patients and their loved ones can be influenced by incorrect information on social networks. It is essential to understand that the epidural aims to relieve women's pain without harming them. Unfortunately, some hospitals and doctors are sometimes poorly perceived because of false information on this subject. However, in the French Overseas Territories, particularly in Mayotte, the use of epidurals is less widespread. Women are used to giving birth without using them. In Mayotte, deliveries often take place quickly, without an epidural, with women adopting a more relaxed attitude. In mainland France, on the other hand, people tend to seek out and consult a multitude of information before making decisions.

 

What are the different stages of monitoring a childbirth?

"Monitoring a childbirth begins with dating the pregnancy and regular consultations with a midwife. Every month, the midwife carefully monitors the physical and moral well-being of the mother-to-be, provides her with advice and organizes childbirth preparation courses In the event of complications, specialized follow-up in the maternity ward can be considered. After childbirth, the patient is transferred to the delivery suite for postpartum monitoring. , emphasis is placed on emotional support to ensure a positive birth experience."

Where can midwives intervene?

"She can work in PMI (Maternal and Child Protection), in private practice, in hospital, in family planning, as well as in the field of PMA (Medically Assisted Reproduction) and IVG (Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy). We also do a lot of prevention in schools."

What is your most memorable experience as a midwife?

"During my professional experience in Tahiti, I helped a mother give birth and she gave her little girl the same first name as mine, "Amélie". It was a beautiful birth. Overall, all the births difficult that ends well remains a beautiful memory."

What is the postpartum period and what are your recommendations for getting through it in the best possible way?

"The postpartum period, which occurs after childbirth, is a delicate and important phase for the mother and the baby. It extends from childbirth until the return of the diaper 6 to 8 weeks. In large cities , where the pace of life is often hectic, many women feel a high level of stress during this period. It is crucial to recognize the importance of help and support from those around them. difficult to accept this help, because they are used to controlling everything in their lives. Hormonal upheavals can accentuate this feeling, impacting moods and general well-being. help from their family and friends, to let themselves be pampered and to be treated like princesses. I noticed that many women who accepted this assistance experienced this period better. daily tasks such as meal preparation or laundry, significantly relieves the stress associated with postpartum. In some cultures, this period is even ritualized with what is called the "golden month", where the woman is entirely taken care of by her family for a month. During this month, she is treated like a queen, and everything is done to facilitate her physical and emotional recovery after childbirth. Spousal support is also essential. Her presence, support and help play a vital role in the general well-being of the mother and baby during this delicate period. In short, to best approach the postpartum period, it is crucial to accept help from those around you, to allow yourself to be pampered and supported, and to cultivate an environment conducive to rest and recovery."

 

How long does a woman need to recover physically after childbirth?

"After childbirth, the body naturally undergoes transformations. Typically, women notice weight gain, especially around the hips, particularly petite women. These marks bear witness to life and become magnificent scars, almost like tattoos. Each woman recovers at her own pace, influenced by her body type and activity level. Some quickly regain a beautiful figure, while others take longer. Breastfeeding plays a significant role in weight loss. it requires a lot of energy This can accelerate the loss of pounds gained during pregnancy. Recovery after childbirth varies depending on several factors, such as the status of the woman (alone or with children already present), as well as the number and. the difficulty of previous deliveries."

What do you recommend about cesarean scars?

"First of all, it is important to note that the feeling of itching around the scar is a positive sign, indicating a normal and physiological healing process. Although the discomfort may be difficult for patients to bear, it is It is essential to understand that these symptoms are an integral part of the recovery process and cannot always be avoided.

Here are some essential tips to aid recovery after a C-section:

- Getting up quickly after the procedure is crucial to avoid subsequent complications. Prolonged immobility can make recovery more difficult.

- Avoid lying in bed for 3-4 days without getting up. It is recommended to remain as active as possible, within reason, in order to promote optimal recovery. If a cesarean section is recommended by the gynecologist, it is imperative to follow his advice in order to minimize the risk of complications.

- Once the scar is completely healed, massaging around the scar area with an oil can help restore proper shape.

Additionally, using powdered white clay, known for its healing and antiseptic properties, can be beneficial once the healing process has begun. It is recommended to apply the clay with a wooden spoon to avoid altering its properties. This method can also be applied to the baby's umbilical cord scar towards the navel, and it is also effective for perineal sutures."

How long does it take to re-educate your perineum?

"Rehabilitation of the perineum after childbirth is an important step for postpartum recovery. This rehabilitation, which is usually carried out by midwives, can also be carried out by physiotherapists or gynecologists. Although it can vary from one woman to another, it can begin when returning from childbirth, i.e. at least 6 weeks after childbirth (10 to 15 sessions. It is crucial to avoid any sporting activity before starting rehabilitation, in particular). running, as well as lifting heavy loads such as maxi cosi or water packs However, light walking can be undertaken as soon as you feel ready Perineal rehabilitation usually involves between 7 and 10 sessions for. regain optimal tone and functionality of the perineum It is important to note that this rehabilitation is not limited to the postpartum period; it can be beneficial at any age, even at 40 years of age in the event of urinary leakage, for example. Unlike sports and heavy loads, patients can have sexual intercourse after childbirth as soon as they feel ready, they do not need to wait for perineal rehabilitation and they want to. Physiotherapists can also offer abdominal rehabilitation sessions, which are particularly beneficial for women who have had a cesarean section."

 

Sport after childbirth?

"After childbirth, it is recommended to wait until the end of perineal rehabilitation before resuming sporting activity. This rehabilitation period is crucial to restore the strength and tone of the perineum, because sporting activity can exert pressure "It is important to note that inappropriate or too intense physical exercise too soon after childbirth can compromise the recovery of the perineum and increase the risk of problems such as organ descent and urinary leakage."

Food. Are there foods to avoid and others to favor?

"To increase fertility, endocrine disruptors and pesticides must be avoided. During pregnancy, raw foods should not be consumed (raw meat, cold meats, raw salmon for example, to be avoided during). After childbirth, To prevent constipation after childbirth, choose foods rich in fiber (dried fruits, vegetables in particular. During breastfeeding, to avoid colic in the baby, it is advisable to limit the consumption of bitter foods such as almonds). oranges (because they are bitter), dairy products and cabbage."

A word about sex during pregnancy and after childbirth?

"During pregnancy, sexual intercourse can vary greatly from woman to woman. Some women may experience an increase in their libido, while others may experience a decrease. It is also common for couples to experience adapting to this new phase of their sex life during pregnancy Open communication and mutual support are essential to navigate through the changes that may occur After giving birth, there are usually no contraindications to intercourse. sexual activity, although it depends on when the woman feels ready, both physically and emotionally. Some couples may feel the need to wait a bit before resuming regular sexual activity, while others may feel ready sooner. Again, communication between partners is crucial to ensure both feel comfortable and supported in their choices."

What care do you recommend for mother and baby?

"Women are more and more informed and are looking for natural and organic solutions to take care of themselves and their babies. For a woman who has just given birth and her baby, the use of a cleaning product pH neutral and soap-free is recommended. Ideally, the baby should be bathed every other day at most, focusing daily on areas such as the seat, neck and armpits. It is essential not to over-wash a baby. , especially the neck, where milk can accumulate. To care for the delicate and fragile skin of babies, the use of natural products such as oil for massages is preferable. Traditional tips such as using. sweet almond oil to treat cradle cap in hair and white clay for scars may be beneficial. Baby walkers are not recommended for babies because they can harm hip development and encourage hip development. habit of walking on tiptoes. For breastfeeding, using a mother-of-pearl nursing shell can help the irritated nipple heal, providing effective relief."

What do you recommend for eczema on babies?

"It is essential to consult a doctor and carefully check the composition of the products used, because babies' skin acts like a sponge and requires careful monitoring. In addition, babies born vaginally benefit from an additional layer of protection thanks to the mother's vaginal flora, which is essential for the development of their microbiota When the baby is born, the parents wash it within two days and not directly at the end of childbirth because the vernix (white deposit) present on his skin is beneficial and very protective."

A word on hair loss after childbirth?

"It's about the hormonal drop. It's 'normal'. It's nature. Sometimes, some women have beautiful hair during pregnancy, more beautiful than usual. However, after giving birth , they fall. It varies from woman to woman, but it is a common consequence of childbirth Hormonal changes are the cause.

What do you think about prenatal yoga and sport during pregnancy?

"I recommend 100%. Prenatal yoga, as well as other forms of physical exercise suitable for pregnancy, can provide many benefits, including reducing stress, learning to let go and maintaining good physical condition is also an excellent option to promote relaxation and stress management during pregnancy. It is particularly important to emphasize that pregnancy is not an illness and that pregnant women have the right to practice. physical activity, listening to their body and avoiding risky sports or activities that might be contraindicated Fitness classes specially designed for pregnant women are an excellent initiative to meet the specific needs of this period. pregnancy, it is preferable not to stop sport, unless there is a contraindication."

A word on hair loss after childbirth?

"This is the hormonal drop, this phenomenon is considered "normal" and is part of the natural process. During pregnancy, some women may have beautiful hair, thicker than usual. However, after During childbirth, it is common to experience hair loss. This process can vary from woman to woman, but it is common after childbirth due to hormonal changes. The body gradually recovers.

What is the pregnancy mask?

"Pregnancy mask is caused by an increase in melanin production in the body, a physiological process during pregnancy. It is therefore recommended to avoid exposure to the sun during this period. Applying sunscreen, Wearing a hat and using a parasol are essential to protect yourself. The sun is in fact a trigger for pregnancy masks. In addition, it is not recommended to expose newborns to the sun as this can. increase their risk of skin cancer in the future. It is important to note that pregnancy masks do not wear off easily and using sunscreen during pregnancy is essential to prevent them.

Breathing exercise to facilitate the different stages?

"To facilitate the different stages of childbirth, breathing exercises play a crucial role. Taking birth preparation classes is strongly recommended, as it allows you to better manage pain and avoid panic. When of childbirth, it is essential to learn to breathe slowly to avoid panic and heavy breathing. In addition, massages are of great help. Strategic pressure points, such as those located in the hand, can be. stimulated to distract the brain from pain Massages in the lower back are also effective, and the partner can perform them to provide valuable support. It is important to understand that childbirth is like a wave, and. breathing must follow this rhythm. This allows you to better manage the pain and remain calm during the process. In summary, successfully controlling your breathing during childbirth is beneficial for relieving pain and avoiding panic. Preparing for birth, combined with breathing and massage techniques, can help make the experience more bearable and positive for the mother-to-be."

What do you think of the wrapped bath?

"It's a wonderful experience! Wrapping the infant in water evokes the nine months spent snuggled in the mother's womb. This familiar sensation provides immediate comfort, naturally calming the baby and promoting his well-being. This experience is appreciated by both little ones and parents, strengthening family bonds and creating unforgettable memories from the first moments of life."

Massage for babies and pregnant women

"Absolutely, I highly recommend massages for babies and pregnant women. These moments of gentleness, particularly with the use of a quality oil, offer an exceptional experience. The benefits go far beyond simple relaxation: they can soothe the symptoms of constipation and colic in the baby, while promoting deep relaxation and strengthening the precious bond between parents and their unborn child. Indeed, relaxing the pregnant woman is essential, as they are often. stressed, however, it is crucial to choose competent practitioners. Their expertise ensures not only the effectiveness of the massages, but also the safety and well-being of the mother and child.

What role can dad play in this unique adventure?

"The role of the dad is crucial and multifaceted throughout pregnancy and childbirth. He must be the main support of the mother, accompanying her with love and understanding at every stage of this extraordinary journey. The mother is the queen of this period, and the dad is there to offer him all his support from the start is essential. Ranging from ultrasounds to birth preparation classes, his presence and support are of capital importance. there to share the emotional and physical burden of pregnancy, listening to the mother's needs and supporting her with tenderness and encouragement. After childbirth, his supportive role does not diminish. -partum, surrounding her with support and affection as she adapts to the challenges and joys of motherhood."

What do you think of baby combs?

"It is an excellent solution for gently removing cradle cap from babies' scalps, while taking care not to attack this delicate skin. Very popular with mothers, this method also offers a precious souvenir. Cradle cap result from excess oily secretions from the scalp, a natural process that all babies experience to varying degrees."

What inspires you about baby well-being?

"The baby's well-being is above all a serene, soothing and secure environment. For him to feel fully loved and protected, it is essential that he evolves in a place marked by calm and tranquility. When the baby baby cries, it is often his means of communication to express his need for comfort and closeness with his parents After spending nine months in his mother's womb, the baby instinctively seeks the proximity of his parents, in a warm cocoon. where he feels confident So, carrying him in his arms provides a feeling of security and connection, reminding him of the sweet moments spent in the maternal womb. Regarding cosmetic products, I am in favor of those with. composition is of quality. Opting for suitable products guarantees the well-being and health of the baby's delicate skin, providing gentle and respectful care. By ensuring that we choose safe and suitable products, we contribute to comfort and comfort. overall well-being of the baby.

Every mother must decide what is best for her and her baby."

Amelie F. for La Rêverie Paris.