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What To Do When You Go Into Labour

You’re unlikely to mistake the signs of labour when the time comes.  If you are in any doubt, please contact the Triage midwife.

The main signs of labour starting are strong, regular contractions, and a ‘show’ when the plug of mucus sealing your cervix comes away. Other signs that you are going into labour can include your waters breaking, backache, vomiting or nausea, diarrhoea. Later in labour, you may experience an urge to go to the toilet caused by your baby’s head pressing on your bowel.

You will find below some information about items listed below.  This is also available in your handheld maternity record.

Coping at the beginning of labour

The "show"

Waters breaking

The stages of labour

Coming to the Maternity Unit

Make sure you can be contacted at all times and that transport and childcare has been arranged (day or night). Here is a short checklist of things you may want to pack:

  • Changing clothes for you and baby
  • Snacks and energy drink (for you and your birthing partners)
  • Camera, why not some music (don't forget your charger and some speakers/headphones)
  • Your mobile phone or change for the telephone
  • Nappies
  • Cotton wools
  • Maternity pads
  • Towels
  • Car seat for your baby

For safety and hygiene reasons, a maximum of two birthing partners are allowed in birthing areas. Swapping is not allowed.

If you have to have a birth in theatre, one partner is allowed at the side of the patient most of the time. After birth, mum and baby will be taken to the Recovery Unit where one birthing partner will be allowed, the non swapping policy remains.


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