Labour and birth

Your birth plan

Get tips on setting out your wishes for labour and birth, such as what to include and how your caregiver can help.

Write a birth plan!

More Labour and birth

12 of the most beautiful home birth photos

Planning your baby's birth

What to pack in your hospital bag: your complete checklist

Get yourself ready and pack your hospital bag with all the essentials you'll need during labour and for after your baby is born. Our useful checklist will ensure you don't forget anything.

Birth choices

Antenatal classes

Sample birth plans

Writing a birth plan

See all in Planning your baby's birth

Labour videos

What is Calmbirth? (video)

A guide to ultrasound (video)

Caesarean section births (video)

My 6-word birth story (video)

See all in Labour videos

Where to give birth

Giving birth in hospital

Most women choose to have their baby in hospital. Find out what to expect from the staff, equipment, facilities and care available to you.

All about birth centres


See all in Where to give birth


The stages of childbirth

Labour is divided into first, second and third stages. We explain what happens in detail.

Signs of labour

How can I avoid an episiotomy?

Apgar scale

When should my baby's head engage?

See all in Labour

Pain relief in labour

Natural pain relief in labour

A guide to natural methods of coping with pain during labour.

Entonox (gas and air)


Ambulatory or walking epidural

Using a TENS machine in labour

See all in Pain relief in labour

Water birth

How to use a birth pool

Find out how to use a birth pool, whether you just want to use it to help you with you labour, or whether you want to actually have your baby in the water.

Planning a water birth

What's a water birth like?

Water births: your photos

See all in Water birth

Caesarean section

Caesarean sections: an overview

Why might I need a caesarean section? What happens during a caesarean? We answer your questions.

Recovery after a caesarean birth

I'm scared of labour pain. Can I choose a caesarean section?

How many caesareans can I safely have?

Parents' tips: how to cope if you feel disappointed after a caesarean

See all in Caesarean section

Birth partners

Parents' tips: what I wish I'd known about being a birth partner

How can you be a great birth partner? Find out by reading tips from experienced birth partners

10 tips for birth partners

How can I find a doula to attend my birth?

The role of a birth partner

Birth partner's guide to pain relief

See all in Birth partners

Natural ways to start labour

Can sex bring on labour?

Sex may be effective in bringing on labour. Find out why.

What is a membrane sweep?

I'm overdue: now what?

Natural ways to induce labour: an overview

Can raspberry leaf bring on labour?

See all in Natural ways to start labour

Labour complications

Induced labour

Induction means starting labour artificially. You'll normally be offered an induction because you’ve gone a week or two past your due date, or you've had some complications. Find out more.

Breech birth


Are there any safe methods to turn a breech baby?

Assisted birth (forceps and ventouse)

See all in Labour complications

Your birth stories

My 6-word birth story (video)

See all in Your birth stories

Cord blood banking

Cord blood banking: an overview

Donating your baby's cord blood to the public bank

Private cord blood banking

How to choose a private cord blood bank

See all in Cord blood banking

Track your baby’s development

Join now to receive free weekly newsletters tracking your baby’s development and yours throughout your pregnancy.
Trying to conceive?