Having your baby - Labour and Birth

Labour

If you are planning a home birth your community midwife will have explained to you how to contact a midwife when you go into labour. There is a midwife available 24 hours a day to support you to birth your baby at home. 

If you are planning to have your baby in hospital please call the Delivery Suite:

  • when your contractions are regular, at least ten minutes apart and painful. A good indication of this is when you cannot talk when you have them and you really have to concentrate on your breathing
  • when you think your waters may have broken
  • if you have any bleeding
  • if your baby's movements are different to normal

The midwife will ask you some questions about your pregnancy to date and listen to you when you have a contraction - this will help her know how you are coping and assess which stage of labour you are in. If your labour isn’t very advanced yet, you will probably be advised to stay at home – or advised to return home if you have come to the hospital – because home is usually the best place to be during the early stages. When your labour is advanced you will be shown to your delivery room.

Whether you give birth at home or in hospital, the midwife will discuss your birth plan with you and support you during labour and birth.

Why you might be advised to stay or go back home

When you call, the midwife will talk to you about how your labour is progressing. As long as all is normal, you may be advised to stay at home until labour becomes established. If you come into hospital the same process will be carried out. You may be advised to go home to wait for labour to become more established. If you are unhappy with this advice please discuss this with the midwife.

When you come to the hospital in labour the midwife will monitor your contractions. You may be offered an internal examination to see how far your labour has progressed. If this shows you are still in the early stages of labour, it is often better for you to be at home where you can be more active and relaxed.

If you go home, the midwife will give you advice which will help you cope with your labour.

When you are in established labour

You will be assessed by the midwife. If your labour is advanced you will be shown to your delivery room. The midwife will discuss your birth plan with you and support you during your labour and birth.

Meadow Birth Centre

On 30 March 2015, Meadow Birth Centre, a brand new midwife-led birth centre opened at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, giving you more choice over where your baby is delivered.

The centre, run by experienced midwives, offers a comfortable environment where birth is treated as a ‘normal’ process (without intervention), rather than a medical one. 

The four-room centre (each with an en-suite) is near to the current delivery suite, but not a part of it. It looks and feels homely – not like a hospital – helping you to feel comfortable and relaxed.

For more information visit the Meadow Birth Centre page.

Home births

Home is an ideal place to have your baby.

You are likely to be more relaxed within your own familiar surroundings, with family close at hand. 

You can consider a home birth if you: 

  • are having a straightforward pregnancy
  • have no medical problems
  • have had no complications with a previous birth

If you are interested in having a home birth please discuss it with your community midwife as soon as possible. Be assured that a local community midwife is on call 24 hours a day to help you birth your baby at home.

A good tip!

Many mums like the idea of a birthing pool to use at home. You can choose from many suppliers. Have a look on line and/or speak to your community midwife for tips on getting the right one for you.

Water births

Do you fancy relaxing in water during you labour?

Using a birth pool to have your baby can be a really positive experience. Many mums who have given birth that way say the warm water relaxed them and helped them cope with labour.  If you want to give birth in water, research so far suggests that it is just as safe as giving birth in air. It may also make your baby's journey into the world a calmer one.

Birthing pools are available in most of our birthing rooms.

Pain relief

Nobody knows exactly how labour will feel until it starts. Some mums find that labour is bearable with little or no pain relief. However many are likely to want help at some point. Whichever way it is for you, take a look at the options for pain relief. It's useful to read up about your choices early on. You can also discuss the options with your community midwife.

We offer a wide selection of pain relief. This gives choice to all of our clients whether having your first baby or your fourth!

When your labour starts, you'll probably feel quite restless. You'll want to move around and keep busy. Just take care that you don't get over tired before your labour is properly underway. Have short rests, in a chair or lying down. If your contractions start at night, try to stay in bed and relax for as long as possible.

When you come into hospital we have a number of ways of helping you manage your pain.

For more information you may wish to read our Frequently asked questions sections on Pain relief options and Epidurals

Planned c-sections at Worcestershire Royal Hospital

A caesarean section is an operation performed to deliver the baby through a cut in your lower abdomen (usually just below your bikini line).

There will be several people looking after you during your planned procedure:

  • An operating obstetrician with an assistant

  • One consultant anaesthetist

  • One junior anaesthetist

  • One midwife

  • A variety of operating theatre staff

There may be more if the procedure is predicted to be complicated.

4ward is our Trustwide culture change programme which is helping us build a more positive, supportive workplace for the benefit of our patients and colleagues. At its heart are our four 4ward Behaviours.