Thinking about labour
At some stage in your pregnancy you will start to think about labour, and it’s a good idea to prepare. Just as an athlete will train for an event, you will benefit from having an understanding of how your body works during childbirth, for example the meaning and importance of labour pains! There are lots of ways to prepare for labour:
- Reading books
- Searching the web
- Attending antenatal sessions
There are lots of books available offering advice and support, and increasingly women are writing blogs and articles that are available online. We have added a few on this page, but you may find others that appeal to you. It’s a good idea to read about ways to help you to cope when the time comes to give birth, see working with labour pain. When you have made some decisions on what you may want or prefer not to have during labour, use our Birth Preferences Form (Birth Plan) to make a note and take with you when you go into labour. You can download it, fill it in with your birth partner if you want to, and keep it with you when you go into labour to give to your midwife.
Attending a group to learn about labour and birth can be useful and rewarding for many reasons. You can find out lots of useful tips listening and talking to others, but also women and partners often forge lasting and supportive friendships with others in their group. Your midwife will tell you about the antenatal group sessions that are available locally. There are other activities available for labour and birth preparation and other groups to join in with that will help you and your growing baby. Yoga in pregnancy for example, is an excellent way to relax and exercise at the same time, and swimming and exercise in water is beneficial too. Look at some of the contact details below and check them out. However joining groups may not be for you, and so we have added some web links below for you to browse to help you connect with others via the internet.
What if I go past my due date?
Most labours start before 42 weeks. If you go over your due date your midwife will give you information on your options. You can read more about being post dates on this NHS website, and more views here by an experienced midwife. Make sure you read about your choices fully, before you make a decision. Use BRAIN to help you to make your mind up, it is very helpful.
B ~ Benefits. Ask yourself, what is the benefit to choosing to do this?
R ~ Risk. Ask yourself, what are the risks involved in doing this?
A ~ Alternatives. Ask yourself, are there any alternatives to doing this?
I ~ Instincts. Ask yourself, what is your instinct telling you to do?
N ~ Nothing. Ask yourself, what if you do nothing right now and revisit the idea later or another day? What will happen if you do nothing?
Should I prepare anything before labour begins?
If you are planning to give birth in a hospital or birth centre, you will need a bag of things for yourself and the baby.
Here is a list of useful items to prepare, which you can download and print off.
Local groups and contacts:
There are antenatal sessions available throughout Lancashire, in Children’s Centres. Check out this website for details.
NCT Signature Antenatal Classes – 020 8752 9008 East Lancs NCT Antenatal Classes
Aqua classes (appropriate for pregnancy) Janina Harrison 07912934407 These are available in Padiham, Rossendale, Clitheroe, Nelson.