Labour Advice for 1st Time Mums


As a midwife, what do you believe is the most important thing for a
smooth/positive labour experience?

        1. Try not to be distracted or panic, the big moment has arrived but it’s okay. Start with your mental strength early on so maintain your mindset. Try to turn off mental processes and allow your body to instinctively labour.
        2. Have a warm bath, or use a hot water bottle on your lower back it really does help ease the height of contractions.
        3. How you breathe is essential for managing labour, start practising your breathing in a calm relaxed environment during pregnancy. Relax your jaw completely, on the in breath take in clean nourishing oxygen. On the out breath, breathe away the pain and any fear or anxiety you may have. Focusing on your breathing relaxes the mind, increases the flow of oxygen and provides a helpful boost of energy.
        4. Adopt good positions, upright, leaning over a counter or hold onto your birth partner, put the pelvis back and mobilize, this provides adequate space for your babys head to descend and gravity takes it’s course.
        5. Cuddle your birth partner between contractions, literally lean on him/her and or hold hands, research shows that touch reduces pain. Your birth partner can and should help you stay focused on your breathing an keep reminding you of your techniques.

A lot of women I speak to feel unsure of the medical environment for
giving birth. What would you say to women who fear the medical

Do you need to give birth in a medical environment first off? Can you go to a midwifery led unit or have a home birth? If not then the best advice I have is don’t worry about something you can’t do anything about. If you build up a fear in your head prior to going into hospital it will become a really scary moment when you do, so just surrender to your circumstances and accept that’s the safest place for you to give birth. You can make the transition to hospital less daunting by doing small things like bringing your own pillow in with a few drops of lavender and having a labour playlist you’ve already put together. Listen to this playlist during your pregnancy in your favourite room in your house, with your eyes closed whilst siting on a birthing ball or the end of your bed. That way, when you’re in hospital you can put your music on, close your eye’s and you’ll be back in your favourite room. 

What would you say is the best position for encouraging a shorter
Your knees should be lower than your hips as much as possible. Good positions that allow this are…
        1. All fours
        2. Standing
        3. Leaning over a surface
        4. Siting on a birthing ball