Preparing for birth


There will be lots of things to consider as you get ready for the birth of your baby. Here you'll find plenty of useful articles to help you prepare for the birth of your baby including your options for where to give birth, different types of birth and how you might manage pain during labour.

Preparing for birth

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.
As your due date approaches, it is a good idea for dads-to-be to know about the first, second and third stages of labour, as well as being aware of any potential complications.
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 from Which? Birth Choice gives you options and information so you can choose where you would like to...
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.