For most women, labour and birth occur about 38 to 42 weeks into the pregnancy. While you may feel excited to meet your new baby, it is also very natural to feel nervous about the birth experience, especially if it is your first time.
Section 1 – Packing for the hospital/birth centre
You will need to pack some supplies for yourself, your support person and your baby.
Section 2 – Signs of labour
Although every woman experiences labour differently, there are some general signs that labour is beginning. You may have some of these signs “on and off” for several days before labour starts. This is called ‘pre-labour’. Some signs you may not notice, and others may be more obvious.
Section 3 – When to go to the hospital
Most women stay at home until they are in active labour, here are some guidelines of when it is time to go to be assessed.
Section 4 – Your body knows what to do
Your body knows what to do when it comes to the process of labour and birth.
Section 5 – What are the stages of labour and birth?
There are three stages to the labour and birth process. In the First Stage of labour, your cervix thins and opens so that the baby can then move through the birth canal (vagina). Second Stage is the pushing stage, and ends with the birth of your baby. The Third Stage is the delivery of the placenta.
Section 6 – What does my support person do?
Each labour experience is unique. Knowledge, relaxation, a supportive partner and a positive attitude can help you manage the discomfort of labour and increase your sense of control.