All posts tagged: labour and birth

labour and birth newcastle and tyneside


A constant pain in my head for the last day has made me reflect on pain – it’s really not pleasant and I wish it would stop now. I don’t know what it causing it and it will start to wear me down but, for now, I am being positive that it is a migraine or a sinus issue rather than a brain tumour or a stroke. As an antenatal teacher, I talk about pain a lot – I get asked questions about pain and contractions. And knowledge and acceptance is crucial for labour pains – we need strong, powerful contractions. Labour is about endurance, the muscles of your uterus are working hard. Understanding why contractions hurt, how you can work with them and what might make them more painful really helps but everyone’s experience of labour is so individual and pain is so subjective – it can be can be so fast, it takes your breath away or it can plod on for hours and hours, never seeming like the end will come. And …

Prioritising straightforward birth

At some point during your pregnancy, you will need to focus on the birth of your baby – to know more about how it all works, what helps, what doesn’t, what your options are, how you can manage contractions and energy and what your strategies might be. It’s about good knowledge and practical skills, questions, realistic expectations and a good dose of feistiness when needed. This helps you and your birth partner become better prepared for labour, birth and any challenges.

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 …

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 …

1:1 parent sessions

Labour and Birth: An Overview

Labour and birth, its process and what your body needs to do is pretty simple. Labour is triggered by your baby and your body responds by creating contractions. These contractions move baby into the pelvis and which causes the muscles of the uterus to do its thing. The long muscles shorten, causing the cervix to dilate and then contractions become expulsive, guiding baby down through the birth canal. It can certainly be as simple as this but labour and birth is also a fine balance of hormones which can help make contractions effective and manageable. And while every labouring woman will have her own pattern of labour, there can be familiar characteristics. Early Labour What is happening…Your cervix is softening, thinning and opening – this can take a few hours or a few days and your contractions may vary from being completely mild and manageable to more uncomfortable and painful. Your baby can also be settling into position in your pelvis. What it can feel like…It is normal to feel excited, worried, apprehensive, relieved, anxious, …