Giving Birth

Giving birth can be a daunting prospect for many women; almost everyone has heard tales of extraordinary pain and horror stories about complications during labour; however, every year thousands of women give birth without any problems or complications and professional staff will always be on hand to ensure your labour goes as smoothly as possible.

Preparing for childbirth

For many women, preparing for childbirth makes the process much more manageable when it comes around; experts recommend attending regular antenatal classes, reading books and even watching DVDs to make sure you know what to expect and help you to get through childbirth as smoothly as possible.

Antenatal classes help to provide information about labour and childbirth, teach you about breastfeeding and bonding with your newborn baby, teach you about breathing and relaxation exercises and advise you about drawing up a birthing plan; birthing partners are also encouraged to attend antenatal classes.

Pain relief

Giving birth is undoubtedly a painful experience and there are very few women who would disagree; however, there are various methods of pain relief available and doctors and midwives will discuss pain management with you. Most women choose to have gas and air to relieve pain, while others choose to have an epidural; this is usually recommended for lengthy and difficult labours.

Where to give birth

Where you give birth may depend on a number of factors, not least the place you happen to be when you start to go into labour. Most women choose to give birth in hospital but some opt for home births; if you want to have a home birth it is advisable to discuss this with your midwife. Water birth is also becoming an increasingly popular option, as the birthing pool can promote relaxation and the water can help to ease pain. Birthing pools are available at most hospitals and can also be hired or purchased for use at home.

Natural childbirth

Most women are able to give birth naturally without any complications or problems; throughout labour, the health of both the mother and the baby will be monitored closely and professional staff will be on hand to talk you through the labour and reassure you. Most people find it beneficial to have a partner, relative or friend with them for support but if you don’t have anyone, don’t worry, as your midwife will be there to help and support you.

Caesarean sections

Caesarean sections are becoming increasingly popular but they are still usually only recommended in certain circumstances. Usually women who have certain health problems, women over the age of 35 and those who are expecting twins or triplets will be advised to have a caesarean section. Caesarean sections may also be recommended if complications arise during labour or if the baby is in distress or in an awkward position.

This guide will cover various aspects of giving birth and to prepare you for what is a trying but, but at the end of which a new baby and joy is brought into your life. This guide is divided into the following sections:

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