advice

birth FAQs:
everything you ever wanted to know about the big day

You'll be hard pressed to find someone who says labour is a piece of cake. It’s probably one of the biggest things you’ve ever done (yep, even you adrenaline-seeking skydivers), but finally seeing your little one at the end makes it all worth it. We’ve put together a handy list of birth FAQs so you know what to expect going into ‘B’ day.

birth advice frequently asked questions

what are the signs of labour?

Going into labour isn’t always as dramatic as it is in the movies. It could start as a slow niggling ache in your back followed by irregular contractions. Try to stay calm and relaxed and have a warm bath. Once your waters have broken, or if you’re struggling, it’s time to call your midwife.

what is a show?

A show is when the thick, mucus-like plug that blocks your cervix comes out. It's like jelly, and is clear or a bit blood-tinged when it comes out. The show is a sign that labour is on its way, but it could still be a few days before contractions come on or your waters break.

who can be my birthing partner?

Your birthing partner can be anybody you want. They can be your partner, friend or family member, but they should be someone you trust to support you. Things are about to get challenging, so you want someone with you who will hold your hand every second of the way.

how long will labour take?

We wish we had the answer! Birth is different for every woman. Established labour starts when you’re 3cm dilated – this can take a day or so. New mums usually dilate at 1cm an hour up to 10cm, and it can then take hours of pushing before your beautiful baby is in your arms.

will i get an epidural?

Though childbirth can be hard, it’s worth trying natural pain relief like massage, TENS or gas and air before requesting an epidural. If you’re really struggling with the pain, ask your midwife for one as soon as possible. Epidurals should be readily available, but check with your midwife ahead of time.