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The Obs Pod

Author: Florence

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I am an NHS obstetrician hoping to share some thoughts and experiences about my working life. Maybe you enjoy call the midwife, perhaps birth fascinates, or you are simply curious about what exactly an obstetrician is? You might be pregnant and preparing for birth right now. Perhaps you work in maternity care and want to know what makes your obstetric colleagues tick, or you want some fresh ideas and inspiration. Whichever of these is the case TheObsPod is for you. Each episode contains 'the zesty bit' the essence of what I hope you will take away from listening. I do hope you will subscribe and enjoy joining me. Find me on Twitter @FWmaternity & @TheObsPod & explore #MatExp to find out more about women and staff working together to improve maternity services. With thanks to Anna Geyer for my beautiful artwork
175 Episodes
Have you ever considered the impact of a simple medical term on a person's experience? Midwife Jenny Cunningham and Catriona Forbes of a research collective join us to unravel the complex issue of weight stigma in pregnancy. Jenny shares her path from hands-on midwifery to academic research, while Catriona offers a personal narrative on the stigma she faced as an expectant mother, lending depth to our understanding of these early, often negative categorizations.Language has power, espec...
I am excited to bring you this episode on hyperemesis gravidarum. Joined by renowned experts Professor Catherine Nelson-Piercy, Dr. Melanie Nana, and Professor Catherine Williamson, we dissect the impact of this condition and the ground breaking RCOG guidelines that are transforming care for pregnant women. These leading figures pull back the curtain on shocking statistics like the 5% termination rate for wanted pregnancies due to severe nausea, emphasizing the urgency for healthcare provider...
Have you ever experienced a moment of cultural awakening, realizing that there's so much more to learn about the traditions of those around us? That's exactly what happened to me, Florence, after reading an enlightening tweet from the outstanding obstetrician Nisha Knot, which set me on a path to discover more about Ramadan and its effects on pregnancy. Join me on the OBSpod as I navigate my own journey of understanding, driven by the realization that many of the Muslim women we support in he...
Episode 167 Consent

Episode 167 Consent


This week follows directly on from Episode 166 Personalised care this time talking about the issue of consent. In this episode I reflect on the introduction of electronic consent in maternity care, scrutinizing its benefits and the unforeseen complexities it introduces. I discuss the General Medical Council's 2020 guidance on consent, spotlighting the critical need for inclusive language and the eradication of personal bias. I consider the need for antenatal education as a bedrock...
As we navigate the intricate journey of childbirth, there is a balance between a mother's autonomy and stringent clinical guidelines. Step into the world of Personalised Care in maternity services, where my discussion sheds light on the emotional complexities of honouring the unique birth plans of expectant mothers. This episode is a clarion call for healthcare providers to listen deeply, advocate for informed consent, and partner with pregnant women to create empowering birth exp...
Discover the hormone oxytocin and its role in the birthing process in the latest ObsPod episode. We unravel the dual nature of this potent hormone, once an unquestioned staple in Active Management of Labour. Listen as we share an engaging conversation about its physiological impacts, the delicate balancing act required for its use in inducing labor, and the critical examination of its application in natural labor progression.We discuss use of oxytocin over time, We tac...
Join me & my guest Dr. Kirsten Small as we build on our previous joint episode 157 Fetal heart monitoring in labour. This time we discuss the world of intermittent auscultation, you'll be enlightened by the evolution from the hands-on Pinard stethoscope to the advanced Doppler device. Dr. Small shares her expertise on the intimate connection care providers once had with this practice and how it's changing in today's clinical settings. We also examine the remarkable methods midwives employ...
Episode 163 Overweight

Episode 163 Overweight


Embark on a poignant exploration of a topic that's often cloaked in stigma yet crucial to maternal health: obesity and BMI during pregnancy. Join me, Florence, on the ObsPod, as we unravel the intertwined issues of weight management and prenatal care, delving into the NHS classifications that inform how expectant mothers with a BMI over 30 navigate their unique journey. This episode promises insightful discussions and a deeper understanding of the practical applications and limitations of BMI...
Embark on a transformative journey through the complexities of alcohol use during pregnancy, as we unravel the myriad risks and the vital necessity of abstinence for expectant mothers. Grappling with the nebulousness of self-reported alcohol intake and the deceptive simplicity of a 'unit' of alcohol, we aim to demystify the misconceptions and bring to light the stark realities of alcohol-exposed pregnancies (AEP) and fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD). With a staggering 400+ conditions li...
Are you already familiar with the life-saving role of blood transfusions in obstetrics? If not, get ready for an enlightening journey into this critical aspect of maternity care. This episode is packed with insights about the ins and outs of transfusions, from packed red cells to platelets, plus everything else a woman might need to replace following excessive bleeding during pregnancy or childbirth. We also introduce you to the role of a hematologist and a game-changing device called TEG.&nb...
Episode 160 ICP & Me

Episode 160 ICP & Me


Trigger warning this episode contains discussion of baby loss.What if you found yourself entangled in a challenging and rare pregnancy condition, not once but twice, with a heartbreaking ending? Unravel the personal narrative of Jenny Chambers, the founder and CEO of ICP Support, as she shares her painful journey through Intra-Hepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP). From the agony of stillbirth, the challenges of conceiving again, to her unwavering commitment in raising awareness about this c...
Ever felt confused or guilty about your sleep position during pregnancy? Fear not, as I, Florence, an experienced NHS obstetrician, guide you through the maze of advice on this critical topic. Drawing from years of practice, continued learning and the latest research, I shed light on this topic, putting to rest unfounded fears and guilt. Together, we explore the NICE guidelines and dissect multiple research studies that have explored the impact of sleep position on stillbirth and fetal growth...
Episode 158 Fertility

Episode 158 Fertility


Today is a much awaited episode having been brewing for over three years since I started the podcast which seems apt given the subject. How does it feel to be pregnant after fertility treatment, what might be the issues maternity staff need to be aware of ? What maternity care do we need to provide to the increasing number of families in our care after assisted conception and a fertility journey. Join me in an episode ready for fertility week (30th Oct -4th Nov) hear my thoughts about pregnan...
How much trust are you placing on the CTG monitor as you welcome a new life into the world? Get ready to have your beliefs challenged as Dr. Kirsten Small and I dissect the language and implications surrounding fetal monitoring during labor. We dive beneath the surface to expose how CTG monitoring can become a source of moral panic, shifting the focus from the true essence of childbirth. Dr. Small, a critical voice in the field, and I navigate the complex world of CTG monitoring. We reve...
Ever wondered how hypno-birthing can change your childbirth experience? Today's special guest, Megan Rossiter, will take you on a journey through the transformative power of hypno-birthing. Megan went from an initial skeptic to becoming an inspiring advocate and teacher in this field. Dive in as we explore how hypno-birthing techniques influence the subconscious mind, helping parents reframe their thoughts around childbirth and enhancing their connection with their bodies and babies.Our enlig...
What if the treatments we believe to be beneficial in Obstetrics aren't as helpful as we thought? Or worse, might they bring along hidden risks for mothers and babies? As your host, Florence, I invite you to journey with me as we explore the complex world of antenatal steroids, a commonly used intervention for preterm labor and planned cesarean births. This episode will not only shed light on the perceived positives, like improved baby outcomes, but also dissect the potential downsides, such ...
There have been some disturbing stories in the media recently about outcomes for women and babies in prison. Here I explore some evidence and more importantly what is being done to try and improve the situation.Want to know more?
In this episode I am joined once again by incredible obstetric physicians Professor Catherine Nelson-Piercy & Dr Melanie Nana. This time we are discussing breast cancer in pregnancy & some fantastic work they have been doing to standardise and improve care for women in this situation. We also discuss the fabulous charity Mummy's Star.Want to know more? cancer infographic
In this episode I am joined by incredible obstetric physicians Professor Catherine Nelson-Piercy & Dr Melanie Nana. We discuss what is an obstetric physician? How can we better work together in pregnancy to care for women with more complex medical issues? Plus learn all about maternal medicine networks. Want to know more?
Episode 151 Compassion

Episode 151 Compassion


It's a tough time in the NHS at the moment. This week is a brief reflective episode on the importance of compassion not only for families under our care but for our selves and colleagues.Want to know more?Compassion for midwives training survey & RCOG workplace behaviour toolkit
Comments (1)

Laura Burns

I don't think it was mentioned that the org which took it upon itself to gather data from black women is called Five Times More because 5 times more black women die in childbirth - and their birth experiences are lost, even to this survey.

Sep 30th
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