When to call the midwife

At around 36 weeks pregnant we will discuss your birth plan, it’s getting really exciting now as baby will be here soon.

When the day arrives that baby has chosen as it’s birthday…….

There is no need to give us a ‘heads up’ that the baby may arrive soon, it is our experience that women can niggle for many days before actually going into strong labour. Unless you are in a strong labour please do not contact us during the middle of the night, we are human and need our sleep, so you need us to be rested for when baby finally does arrive.

If you labour during the day, we are used to dropping everything and coming to provide your midwifery care during this time. We work with a supportive team of midwives which allows us to be there for you.



Stages of Labour

Learn more about what your body is doing as it progresses through the stages of your labour.

Labour Pain Relief

There are many natural ways you can cope with labour, however sometimes women wish to go on and use stronger pain relief.

Breathing and relaxation techniques May help you cope with labour.
No unwanted effects
At home, in a hospital.
Being in water during labour,
in a bath or birthing pool
Provides good pain relief. You can leave the water at any time. Reduces the need for an epidural. No unwanted effects. May help you cope with labour.
No unwanted effects
Massage by your birth partner May relieve pain. No unwanted effects. At home, in hospital.
Gas and oxygen (‘Entonox’), a drug which you breathe in Gives some pain relief. Can be used while you
are in water, can be stopped easily if you don’t like
it and side effects quickly wear off. Could make
you feel sick and light-headed
In a hospital.
Pethidine or similar drugs which are given as injections Gives limited pain relief. Could make you feel drowsy.
Could make you feel sick but you will be offered a drug
to help this. You will not be able to get into water for 2
hours or longer if you feel sleepy. Could affect your baby’s
breathing immediately after birth. Could make the baby
drowsy for several days
Only in a hospital
Epidural – a local anaesthetic (a
drug that makes part of your body numb to pain)
which is injected into your spine. A fine tube is left
in place in your spine which makes it easier for the
anaesthetist to give you more pain relief if needed
The most effective type of pain relief;
it should give total pain relief within 30
minutes. You and your baby will need careful
monitoring. Does not increase your chances of
a longer first stage of labour or caesarean section.
Could make the second stage of your labour longer
and increase the chance of assisted birth (for example,
using forceps). Is not linked to long-term backache.
Only in a hospital because it is given by an anaesthetist

Delivering the placenta

After baby is born the placenta still needs to arrive (3rd stage of labour). There two ways this may happen, naturally or referred to as physiological or active management of 3rd stage. There may be medical reasons why an active management of labour is advised of physiological, this will be discussed with you when your birth plan is completed.

Induction of labour

It may become necessary to induce labour, either because there is a concern about mum or baby, or just that baby is two weeks past the due date and needs some encouragement to arrive. Both of these scenarios will requires an Obstetricians involvement.

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