Your guide to labour

couple lying in bed together

Early signs of labour

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.

woman in labour and birth partner

First stage of labour

What happens in the first stage of labour? Here we look at what happens with contractions and cervix dilation in early labour.

Pregnant woman and partner

Second stage of 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.

Birth Partner

Third stage of 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.

Pregnancy

Hormones in 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.

What happens after your baby is born?

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.