‘SO you think you’re in labour, well if you have time to think about it then it’s not labour’

While this can be disheartening to the hopeful mother it is a very true statement.

Labour is very individual to each woman, for some it progresses quite quickly and for others it’s a slower progress. Some women like to labour in the comfort of their own homes and some want pain relief after the first contraction.

Your body has a lot of work to do before you are ready to push!!

To ‘Show’ or not to ‘Show’

A show is a plug of mucous in the neck of your womb. It is usually a thick consistency and can sometimes be streaked with blood.

A Show can indicate changes to the neck of the womb or that it is beginning to soften and open. This does not mean however that you need to pack up the car and get to the labour ward!

Some women can have 2 or 3 Shows before getting into labour and some will have signs of a show up to 2 weeks before labour begins. So yes keep note of it and if you are in anyway worried ring your Maternity Hospital.

No Pain No Gain

Unfortunately babies cannot be born without contractions (Elective CS are the exception).

When you are getting 3 contractions that last up to a minute in 10 mins you should ring your Labour Ward

Contractions usually begin with a dull ache in the lower back, much like period pain. When contractions begin they are usually spaced widely apart and are short lasting i.e. every 60 mins, every 30 mins gradually becoming stronger and more regular. This can take days or hours to get into full swing.

When you are getting 3 contractions that last up to a minute in 10 mins you should ring your Labour Ward and begin to make your way to the hospital on their advice. Labour for a first time mother on average takes 6 to 8 hrs.

Word of Warning: If you had a quick delivery on your other children or if there is a history of quick labours in your family then you should move towards the hospital a lot quicker.


If your Waters go please let us know

If your waters break you need to ring your maternity unit ASAP! They can then advise you of your step.

I think I'm in labour, newborn, baby in hospital

Take note of the colour of the water when they break, the easiest way to do this is using a maternity pad or sanitary towel. If you have a little puddle under you dab the pad in it and will be able to tell the colour. Or alternatively put a pad on and when you feel a trickle check the colour.

Not all women experience the dramatic movie scene of the waters breaking and flooding the surrounding area!! Some will just feel a constant trickle and only realise as their underwear feels damp! So if you think your waters have gone do get checked out.

Sorry to disappoint you Ladies but your waters breaking does not always mean labour will follow immediately! Most women will progress into labour but there are a few who may need to be induced after 24hrs of no action.

For more information about labour download our booklet by clicking here.

Here's what you need to know next

What will happen when I get to the hospital?