The browser you are using is too old for our website. Please visit from Chrome and you will be able to browse normally.


      Preparing for labour

      Late Pregnancy

      Preparing for labour

      Preparing for labour is definitely the key when it comes to childbirth. Every woman needs to prepare both mentally and physically for labour and birth. By doing a little bit of reading and a little bit of preparation it can take some of the fear and anxiety out of having a baby. Knowledge and preparation will also help you and your partner make informed choices for any unexpected events


      Preparing your body

      Birthing ball

      From approx. 30 weeks of pregnancy get bouncing on your ball. You don’t need to be permanently parked on it but do use it as often as you can. Perhaps when watching your favourite soap or crime thriller. Practise different positions and get your partner involved! They can practice their back massage techniques on you.

      The birthing ball really will help you with your posture and also helps with getting your baby’s head to engage.


      The birthing ball really will help you with your posture and also helps with getting your baby’s head to engage. At Antenatal classes your teacher will show you techniques and positions for labour using the ball. Also see the Aptaclub Care of Your Body in Pregnancy booklet.

      Perineal Massage

      Perineal massage really does help in reducing tears and the need for episiotomy (A cut that is made in the mother’s perineum (the area between the vagina and anus) to prevent you tearing badly)

      Where is my perineum? There are some useful diagrams in our  Care of Your Body in Pregnancy booklet.

      You don’t need to massage your perineum every day unless you want to. Just 2/3 times a week. Start massaging from around 32wks.

      If massage is not appealing to you there are other options available for helping to stretch your perineum in your pharmacy so speak to your pharmacist for advice on this.

      Breathing Techniques

      At your Antenatal classes you will be taught various breathing techniques to help you cope with contractions. Hypnobirthing classes are also a very effective way to learn techniques to help you and your partner cope.

      Hire your Tens Machine

      Become familiar with how it works and where to place the pads. When you feel that labour is beginning that is when you need to start using the Tens follow the manufacturer’s instruction from that point on.

      Preparing Mentally for Child Birth

      Birth Plan

      birth plan is something that should be developed along with your Midwife/Doctor. A birth plan essentially is how you would like your labour to proceed. It’s the ideal place to write down any fears or anxieties you may have. It then gives you an opportunity to discuss these with your Midwife.

      It is important to remember that it is just a plan and we all know that things don’t always go to plan (especially where babies are concerned), the end result is what is important – a healthy and happy mother and baby is the main goal and this is what every Midwife and Doctor works toward.

      Knowing that you are prepared can help relax you, so get your labour bag packed. It’s a good idea to have this done from about 30wks of pregnancy so you won’t be caught off guard. Only pack essentials! Most hospitals don’t have enough space to accommodate large suitcases. We have developed a handy hospital bag checklist for you to download.

      Make sure your partner knows what your labour bag looks like and where it is.

      Make a list of phone numbers you need and stick them up on the fridge i.e.

      Hospital labour ward, Child-minder (If you have other children).

      If you need anymore support, contact our Careline.


      Expert advice

      Get the support you need, the moment you need it

      Join now for free

      Related articles

      Expert advice

      Get the support you need, the moment you need it

      Join now for free

      Your privacy is important to us and therefore we would like to explain how we use cookies on this website. With your consent, we will use cookies to measure and analyse how our website is used (analytical cookies), to tailor it to your interests (personalisation cookies), and to show you relevant advertising and information (targeting cookies) we think you will like. For more information please read the cookie statement.

      Privacy Settings

      You can choose your preferences anytime for cookies and tracking. For more information please read our cookie policy.

      • Strictly necessary

        They are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services (setting your privacy preferences, logging in, filling in forms, etc.). You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work.

      • Analytical cookies

        They allow us to count visits and traffic sources, to measure and improve the performance of our site. They show us which pages are the most and least popular and how visitors move around the site. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.

      • Personalisation cookies

        They enable website’s enhanced functionality and personalization. They may be set by us or by third parties whose services we have added to our pages. If you do not allow these cookies, some or all of these services may not function properly.

      • Targeting cookies

        They may be set through our site by our advertising partners, to build a profile of your interests and to show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.