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Checklist for labour & birth

Do you feel safe?
Do you need support/reassurance?
Do you need to go to hospital?
Do you need your midwife?
Do you need quiet?
Do you need lower lights?
Do you need to focus on your breathing?
Are you able to do what feels right for you?

What do you need?
Say what you need to feel supported, reassured, comfortable and safe.

Are you comfortable?
Can you change into a position that feels right for you so you are more comfortable for your contractions and to rest
in-between?

Can you be more upright?
If you are on the bed, you can still use gravity by sitting upright in labour and, with some support, getting up on your knees for birth.

If you don’t need to be on the bed, try being off it and wandering or nesting, using a ball or a chair for support.

Are you drinking water?
Regularly drinking water, even a few sips after each contraction, can help keep you stay hydrated. Pack some bendy straws to make this easier if you need to rest.

Do you need to eat?
You don’t have to eat a lot but nibbling on fruit and healthy snacks can help give you vital energy when you need it, especially if you are feeling hungry.

Are you going to the loo?
Try to have a wee each hour so you can keep your bladder empty.

Are you using your breathing?
If you are feeling tense or panicky, focus on your breathing to slow your heart-rate, to give you something positive to focus on and to get you back in control.

Are you able to rest?
You need to conserve your energy so flop, lean, relax, breathe and rest in-between your contractions even if they are close together.

Ask questions…
If something is suggested and you don’t know what it is, why you need it or if it doesn’t feel right – ask for more information. No-one will mind and it can be important to feel informed and included.

What are the Benefits?
What are the Risks?
What are the Alternatives?


You can:
download this information here
download the Practical Guides To Labour & Birth
find out more about your birth preparation


Janine Smith – a specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting
Find out more about birth preparation & postnatal sessions