How to achieve a positive labour
From planning ahead to listing your preferences, here’s how you can achieve a positive birth experience
Make a plan – you don’t have to stick to it, but it gives the healthcare team looking after your labour and birth an idea of how you would (in an ideal world!) like your labour and birth to be managed. Be prepared for your birth not to stick to your plan. A lot can happen in labour and you may be faced with options you wouldn’t have ideally chosen. But, whilst you can’t prevent an unpredictable labour you can prepare for it by writing down your preferences for birth.
Here’s a list of the preferences you might want to include:
- Birth partner – who you want to be with you
- Coping with pain – what do you plan to use and if your needs change what’s your back-up plan?
- Interventions – Include your thoughts about Caesarean sections, episiotomies and assisted deliveries
- Comfort – say if you want to move around in labour. Do you want to be able to use a birthing pool?
As you move into your final month, go over your birth plan with your midwife and start getting organised:
- Keep emergency numbers on your phone including your midwife, the labour ward and a taxi company
- Stock up on easy to cook food like baked beans and soup and make meals to put in the freezer
- Make sure you know how to contact your birth partner at all times and that they keep their mobile fully charged
- Have a reserve birth partner, just in case!
- Know your route to the hospital and know where to park and how much change you’ll need for parking
- Set up a group message on yours and your partner’s phones so that you can contact and update your family and friends.