All posts filed under: Mother Cuppa – Labour & Birth

labour and birth checklist

Labour & Birth Checklist: Water

It’s really important to drink plenty of water in labour – as it begins, with your powerful contractions and throughout birth, as well as when your baby is here. It can be useful to have a water bottle with you so you can keep taking sips. Using a straw can also be useful in labour, so you can easily drink while resting in-between contractions. It is easy to forget to drink water but you need the fuel it gives you – it can give you energy, it eases any headaches and it helps your body do what it needs to do to bring you your baby. Book a session with me if you have questions, need some additional support or preparation for birth & baby. antenatal & postnatal specialist | working with parents since 2002

being induced

Do you feel confident about labour and birth?

Childbirth can be straightforward and empowering but it can also be challenging and a test of endurance so it is worth being equipped with good knowledge, practical skills and strategies, birth confidence and realistic expectations of both straightforward and more complicated labour. Going into labour without knowing more of what to expect could leave you struggling to stay calm and unable to work with your contractions. It can help to think about… Do you feel confident about working with your contractions? Do you understand what your body needs to do to bring you your baby? Do you know how to use your breathing to stay calm and focused? Do you have any questions about using movement & positions? What do you expect from your midwife? What birth support might you need? What could be helpful to you during labour? What could be unhelpful during labour? Do you know what an induction might involve and how to manage it? Do you know what a caesarean involves? If you need/choose an epidural, do you know how to …

induction tips

Induction Tips

Induction tips are essential because you can think about what could make a difference to you. Induction can be needed for a number of reasons: for conditions such as gestational diabetes or obstetric cholestasis or because a baby becomes ‘overdue’. Induction currently sits at about 32% so its a common intervention which can be controversial and which women do choose to decline depending on why it is suggested. I work with a lot of new mums so conversation about birth is frequent – induction can work well for some women, their body just needs a little encouragement to get going but, for others, it is a slog, trying to convince their body to do something it just isn’t quite ready for. Using these induction tips… The reality is that induction can be tough but knowing what to expect and how to work with it could make a difference… RELAX & BREATHE: Just as with any labour, you need to be able to relax your body and use your breathing – this encourages hormone release and …

What type of birth do you want?

The response to this varies a lot and there’s obviously no exact answer – it’s so personal to everyone but that’s the point. It’s an important question to think about because it goes beyond just wanting everyone to be ok – we all want that – it can help you to focus on what you would like your labour and birth to be like, what your options are and how you make that happen. I work with expectant parents who have such different birth preparation needs – caesarean, induction, anxiety, homebirth, wanting an undisturbed labour, wanting an epidural – my job is to provide the information as well as posing the questions to work out options and strategies for more control and calm rather than over medical if that isn’t needed. Think about what you would like it to look like and then explore your options to make that happen. Labour and birth don’t have to be medically cold and without options – caesareans can be calm, induction can involve positions and gravity and a …


Homebirth can be brilliant option for some parents – calm, undisturbed, familiar and relaxed with a midwife coming to you. It’s about dedicated one-to-one care throughout labour and birth which reduces complications and the need for interventions. The latest research also finds that planned homebirth for women & babies who are healthy and considered low risk is as safe as being in hospital. Even if you aren’t considered low risk, you can still opt for a homebirth – it depends what the issues are and, therefore, what the risks are. Talk to your community midwife about it, do some reading and ask some questions to gather more knowledge so you can work out if it is the right choice for you. And there’s no rush to make a decision, you can decide to birth at home well into your third trimester. Going into hospital: About 45% of first time mums transfer into hospital during labour (but 55% do not!) while only 12% of second time mums transfer into hospital. The main reasons for transfer are …