Labour and Birth

Your Lead Maternity Carer will help you prepare for this important stage of your journey. LMC will help you on matters such as nutrition, exercise, the risks of smoking and alcohol, Labour and the birth process, pain relief, breastfeeding, baby care, immunisation, well child providers. They will work with you to plan your care and make your birth plan. You will have your own copy of notes to keep with you.

For more information about LMC services click here.

Going into Labour

If you think you have gone into Labour, you will need to call your midwife. Your midwife will then give you all the appropriate advice that you will need as well as answer any questions you have. The midwife will then notify the hospital regarding your admission. Sometimes if you are in early labour, following an assessment, your midwife may advise you to go home again and they will then keep in contact arranging the time of admission.

Specialist Intervention

Your Midwife can consult a Specialist if the need arises during your Labour. Though it is not required in most of the cases where the type of birth is normal.

Some situations where Intervention will be considered:

Induction or augmentation of Labour
This is where the woman is given some medication to get her labour started. An Induction of Labour can be done for different reasons, for example if the woman is past her due date or if the specialist thinks it would be better for the baby to be delivered.

This is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby. The woman goes to the general operating theatre for this. Caesarean sections decisions are made in consultation with an Obstetrician, the LMC and yourself. Women cannot choose to have a caesarean section just because she doesn't want to labour. There must be a medical indication for the mother or the baby.

Forceps or ventouse assisted delivery
An instrumental delivery done to assist the woman to deliver her baby vaginally.

Breech presentation
This is when the baby is facing bottom first rather than head first for delivery. A footling breech birth, where the feet are closest to the cervix, will be delivered by caesarean section.

Hospital stay

Length of the hospital stay depends upon the type of the delivery and what support is needed. Usually for the normal type of birth it ranges from 24-48 hours and 72 hours for the Caesarean delivery. The average stay is around 48 hours. It is helpful to have your bag packed for the hospital well before you go into labour. You can find a hospital packing checklist to help you pack here.

Your postnatal stay is dependent on your confidence and competence with mother crafting and breastfeeding. Your discharge decision is a three way conversation between yourself, your LMC and hospital staff.

A checklist of things not to forget:

Packing your pregnancy bag is a job you will either do too early or too late. No matter, because at least you will have everything you need to make your birth and first days with baby as comfortable as possible.

What Mum needs for her hospital pregnancy bag:

  • Maternity bras
  • Nighties
  • Casual day clothes
  • Slippers Shoes
  • Breast pads
  • Maternity pads
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Makeup
  • Hairbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Lip balm
  • Lots and lots of undies
  • Magazines
  • Mobile phone and charger

What Baby Needs:

  • Baby clothes and a blanket to take your baby home in;
  • New-born nappies, if you prefer to use disposable nappies;
  • Ensure a car restraint is organised for taking your baby home.
Last updated: March 21, 2019