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babybaby

​Signs that you’re in labour

Look out for the following:

  • contractions or tightening coming at regular intervals
  • something called a “show”, this is when the mucus plug from your cervix comes away, it’s usually bloody
  • back pain
  • needing to go to the toilet
  • waters breaking

When to call the midwife

It’s best for you to stay at home in the beginning stages of your labour, this stage can take hours, sometimes even days for some women.

Call the midwife when your contractions are coming in a regular pattern, every few minutes and lasting for at least 60 seconds. Your midwife will talk with you or your birthing partner on the telephone and arrange for you to come in to hospital.

You should call the midwife straight away if:

  • your waters break, as there is an increased risk of infection for your baby
  • you’re starting labour before reaching 37 weeks of pregnancy
  • you’re bleeding
  • your baby is moving less than usual

Coping with labour

When you are at home in the beginning stages of your labour there are a couple of things you can do to help yourself, including:

  • move around, walk, sway, bounce on a birthing ball, whatever feels comfortable for you
  • drink plenty of water, fluids or sports drinks for extra energy
  • have a snack if you can, this can help to keep your energy levels up
  • stay as relaxed as possible and keep your breathing calm and consistent
  • keep the lighting low, put some relaxing music on, create a calm and peaceful environment
  • have your birth partner to rub your back
  • have a warm bath
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