Guide to labour

Hormones play an important role in all stages of labour and birth. Here we discuss the impact they have in terms of pain relief and other physical and emotional changes.
Find out about the early signs of labour and symptoms, such as Braxton Hicks contractions and mucus plug discharge. Read about preparing for birth and when to call your midwife.
What happens in the first stage of labour? Here we look at what happens with contractions and cervix dilation in early labour.
Read about the second stage of labour, including birthing positions, your cervix being fully dilated at 10cm, your baby ‘bearing down’ and what to do in prolonged labour.
The third stage of labour is when you deliver your placenta after the birth of your baby and the umbilical cord is clamped. You may also experience some bleeding.
The first hour after delivery of the placenta is known as the fourth stage of labour. We discuss benefits of skin to skin contact after birth and supplementary vitamin k.
Having an episiotomy or suffering a tear during childbirth is common. Find out what the difference is between the two as well as the types of episiotomy and tears you might...
Many mothers hope for a birth on or around their baby’s due date. Here is information about what happens if your baby is late or overdue, including ways of inducing labour.