Getting ready for labour

You and your birth partner(s) are likely to feel more relaxed if you feel prepared for labour. Take a moment to think about some of the ways that you and your birth partner(s) have been getting prepared - maybe jot down  your thoughts.

Here are some ideas that you might like to try

  • Learn about the labour process and what to expect from your body – this can make you feel more in control and less worried about what's going to happen. Talk to your midwife or doctor - they will welcome your questions. Attending antenatal classes will help you to prepare and provide you with an opportunity to meet other people going facing the same experiences as you..
  • Explore all the different pain management options, keeping an open mind will help you decide what will work best for you - whatever helps you at the time is what’s important.
  • It can be hard to avoid TV programmes and other media coverage that dramatise labour and birth - often with inaccurate and misleading information. Focus on positive images and seek information from Midwives and other trusted sources.
  • Practice relaxing your mind and body and breathing deeply. Perhaps try a meditation playlist at bedtime or in the bath to get yourself into a relaxed mind-set, or join a pregnancy yoga class. There are lots of apps that have chilled music which will help you to relax, or look out for hypnobirthing tracks on YouTube.
  • Start to create a relaxed and comfy space at home for the early phase of labour - try some of the following: healthy snack options readily available, dim lighting, calm atmosphere with some of your favourite films, books or music on stand-by.
  • Having your birth bag packed and your home ready for your new arrival can make you feel more relaxed. If you haven’t already started to get your home ready – what will you begin with?
  • Create a music playlist of all your favourite chilled-out tunes to keep you calm, or maybe something up-beat to keep your energy level up!
  • Talk with your birth partner about the kinds of things you’d like them to do. You might want them to stroke/massage you or to leave you alone. You might like them to distract you, chat to you or be quiet – do you want them to speak on your behalf or help you make decisions?
  • Think positive thoughts, you can do this. Imagine what it will be like when you’re giving your baby a cuddle – everything will be worth that moment!

Packing your hospital bag