Preparing for labour

Posted 06/09/2011 11:44:00 | Filed under Our Experts

Hi everyone. We get a lot of calls from mums-to-be who are rather nervous about giving birth. So I thought it would be useful to talk about preparing for labour - then you'll have a better understanding of what's to come.

At your antenatal appointments, your doctor or midwife will note the position of your baby. If it’s in the breech position, which is bottom first, they’ll make an appointment for you to see your consultant obstetrician. And if your baby stays in this position after 35 weeks, it’s less likely they’ll be able to turn on their own, so you’ll need to discuss your preferences for the birth. These include caesarean section or the option of trying to turn your baby round so that the head is downwards, however some hospitals are able to support women who have vaginal breech births.

Pregnancy week 32

Knowing what’s happening to your body can also help you identify the signs that labour’s on its way. You may notice increased amounts of vaginal discharge and mucus and you could experience Braxton Hicks contractions - these are irregular contractions which you may have experienced during your pregnancy. They are unlike true labour contractions, which tend to be longer, increase in intensity and form a regular pattern over time.

It’s also worth remembering that your due date is only an estimate and your baby may come earlier or later than expected. So it’s a good idea to have your birth plan ready and your hospital bag packed, just in case. There's plenty more information about preparing for birth on our website, which may help you feel more relaxed about it and in control. The final stages can feel like a waiting game and there’s little you can do but be patient and stay calm. Your baby will come when they’re good and ready but if by 40 weeks there’s still no sign of them, your midwife will discuss your options with you or arrange an induction date for around 42 weeks.

This is just a general overview of what to expect, so if you do have any questions or need advice, please get in touch with me or any of our experts; we’re here to help.


Pregnancy Advisor

With a Diploma and degree in Midwifery, Frances knows all about supporting women during pregnancy, labour and motherhood. She was a registered midwife and has two grown children of her own – so Frances loves nothing more than offering first-hand support to mums and dads at every stage of parenthood. She is also a certified HypnoBirthing Practitioner, offering advice on drug-free birthing techniques.


Did you relate to her story? If so, please add your comments below.