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.
Having your baby at a birth centre or a midwife-led unit can be a good option. We discuss the pros and cons and the flexibility you have in choosing your birth environment.
Where you decide to give birth affects your experience. This article discusses the options available including giving birth at home, at a birth centre or at a hospital.
Find out about the birth choices available in your area in the UK. This tool gives you options and information so you can choose where you would like to have your baby.
This article discusses hospital birth: what happens before, during and after. What are the pros and cons and what do you need to take when packing your hospital bag?
This article looks at how your body copes with pain naturally during labour and what you can do to manage and relieve the pain of contractions and childbirth.
Find out about the different options available for pain relief in labour, including epidural, pethidine, TENS and other means of reducing discomfort before and during childbirth.
Straightforward birth (or natural birth) means giving birth vaginally without any procedures or interventions. Read about the advantages and how to encourage a natural birth.
Discover the early signs of labour, such as Braxton Hicks contractions and mucus plug discharge. Read about symptoms, preparing for birth and when to call your midwife.
There are things you can do during pregnancy to make a straightforward birth more likely. Discover our tips for encouraging a natural birth in this article.
Having a birthing partner present can make a woman feel supported in labour, so it is always good to plan ahead. Read about how a birth partner can help in pregnancy.
What happens in the first stage of labour? Here we look at what happens with contractions and cervix dilation in early labour.