The staff work together as a team to provide the care
that you need to keep you and your baby well throughout your
pregnancy, labour and birth.
Labour and the birth of your baby is one of the most exciting
journeys that you will ever go through.
After all the weeks of
anticipation and planning, your big day is finally here. At the
end of this journey you will get to hold your baby that has been
kicking away inside you for months and months.
There is no right or wrong way to go into labour. Every woman does it differently and no two labours are the same.
There are three stages to labour - throughout the first stage, your womb (uterus) will contract repeatedly causing your cervix (neck of the womb) to thin, shorten and dilate.
This process involves starting labour artificially. Labour may be induced if there
is some risk to you or your baby’s health or if you are overdue.
labour can take up to 24 hours: the longest part is getting the cervix to soften
and open to about 2 cm. If your labour is induced, your contractions and your
baby’s heartbeat will need to be continuously monitored.
If your labour is slow, the doctor or midwife may recommend speeding up or accelerating your labour.
Your labour can be speeded up by breaking your waters artificially (ARM) or by starting you on a drip with a hormone called syntocinon, once your waters are broken.
The midwife will monitor your baby’s heartbeat throughout your labour.
midwife is watching for any changes in the heartbeat that may suggest your
baby is becoming distressed or tired. The simplest method of monitoring is by
using a pinard stethoscope. This is a trumpet-shaped stethoscope that helps
the midwife to hear your baby’s heartbeat through your tummy.
There are several ways of helping you cope with pain in labour.
and breathing techniques and walking are some of the self-help techniques.
Some women find gentle massage, using warm water in the shower or bath
helpful. It is difficult to know before labour what will work best for you.
During early labour some women find a warm bath helpful.
Listening to soft music or going for a walk can also help. Simple, over-the-counter drugs like paracetamol can be taken, particularly if you have backache. Walking and using upright positions can improve your comfort too. In the early part of labour, you may have some light food.
Immediately after birth, your baby will be dried and placed on your chest and tummy in direct contact with your skin and you will both be covered with a blanket.
Skin to skin contact allows you to look closely at your baby and to touch them for the first time.
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Maternal Fetal Medicine
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Frequently Asked Questions
Staying healthy during pregnancy
How your baby develops and your body responds
Care options for pregnant women
Prepare for your hospital stay