Pregnancy - Planning for Labour

Pregnancy - Planning for Labour

Planning for your baby's arrival is a very exciting time. But it can also be a nervous time especially for first time parents. Here we will explore what you need to know, how to prepare and what to expect.


Having a flexible plan

It's great to have a plan and imagine the perfect birth, but unfortunately things don't always go to plan for everyone. Whilst the vast majority of births go as planned, some have to change due to a variety of reasons. Because of this and to avoid disappointment, we always advise to have a plan but to understand that the plan could change. Whatever happens, as long as you and baby stay healthy, that is really all that matters.


Packing your maternity bag

There are endless things you could pack but short of taking a huge suitcase, here are some essentials you should consider;

  • Your maternity notes +/- birth plan if you have one
  • Comfortable loose clothing
  • Spare clothes including underwear
  • Sanitary pads
  • TENS machine if pan to use one
  • Phone charger
  • Snacks for your or your birthing partner!
  • Washbag / toiletries
  • Slippers
  • Swim wear if panning a water birth
  • Baby clothes and blanket + nappies + hat + mittens + don't forget the car seat


Types of delivery

Most babies are born by normal vaginal delivery but sometimes this isn't always possible. This can be for a variety of reasons ranging from your baby struggling to get through the birth canal to your baby being in the wrong position or being in distress. Your midwife will monitor you closely and if necessary will explain if there are any issues and what needs to be done. However, most deliveries do not require assistance.

  • Forceps - these are used to help assist delivery when your baby is stuck in the birth canal. The forceps are placed over the babies head and the Doctor pulls during your contraction. It won't cause you any pain but can be a great help to get baby out safely.
  • Ventouse - this is a vacuum cap which is inserted into the vagina and placed on the babies head. The Doctor then pulls during contractiosn to help delivery the baby.
  • Episiotomy - this is when the Doctor makes an incision or cut in the vagina so make the opening bigger. Sometimes babies get stuck at the latter stages of delivery and this procedure is done to prevent a tear (which is more difficult o repair) and help safe delivery. It is usually done during a contraction and you won't be able to feel it.
  • C-section - sometimes labour doesn't progress or baby gets in to difficulty and more immediate action is needed. Whilst some c-sections are planned due to various reasons, sometimes an emergency section is needed when baby is in distress.