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Almost time to meet your new baby. A few thing you can do to prepare for the labour....

  • Spinning babies and Swiss ball for optimal positioning and pelvic pain

  • Eat dates (not if diabetic!). Drink lots of water, over 2L per day

  • Keep your bowels “moving”! Have lots of water, fresh fruit and vegetables, exercise and drink prune juice. Let us know if you are constipated. Phloe Health capsules are an excellent option.

  • Evening primrose oil: orally from 36 weeks once or twice per day. From 37 weeks, you may insert a capsule, with a clean finger, high into the vagina before bed. This helps soften the cervix.

  • Raspberry leaf tea: from 36 weeks x1 cup per day. From 37 weeks 1-3 cups per day. (Tip: if you hate the taste, try adding lemon juice or a tsp of honey.) May drink hot or cold

  • Perineal massage: This can reduce the severity of vaginal tears. May be done from 36 weeks, you may need your partner to assist you.

  • Pre-prepare some dinners and freeze it…

  • Ensure your car has fuel in; keys are close by; and you have enough credit on your phone to call your Midwife (No texting PLEASE!)














































Pack your hospital bag:

  • 2 Front opening tops (remember the hospital gets warm...)

  • Leggings or comfortable shorts (dark colours as you are going to be bleeding)

  • Slippers or comfortable slip-on shoes

  • 2 Feeding bra's

  • Sanitary pads (adult nappies work great!)

  • Toiletries

  • Tissues 

  • Hair bands or clips

  • Socks

  • Lip balm

  • Snacks for labour

  • Camera

  • Music for labour

  • Anything else that might be useful for labour (eg. Rescue remedy/ Aromatherapy/ Herbs)

Pack a bag for baby:

  • Woolen hat and booties or socks to be put on at birth

  • Singlet (Newborn; cotton or Merino; pre-washed)

  • Baby clothes (Newborn; cotton or Merino; pre-washed; not polar fleece!

  • Cotton blanket/ swaddle (Cotton, Merino or wool; Not polar fleece!)- all pre-washed

  • Another warm blanket (Cotton, merino or wool, not polar fleece)

  • Baby socks and booties

  • Car seat- leave this in the car but ensure you know how to use it nd fit it to your car.

Examples of baby clothes...
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Please do not call/ text me or my colleagues with updates in early labour unless you have warning signs or cannot cope.


The BEST place for early labour, is at HOME. Staying at home longer could speed up your labour.


Early Labour (too early to call!)


  • Contractions anywhere from every 5 minutes to every 30 minutes, lasting less than 45 seconds.

  • May last up to 24 hours. It is the longest part of your labour. This is the phase where your cervix is thinning and not yet very open.

  • May stop and start

  • Mucousy bloody “show” is normal.

  • You should be aware of your baby’s movements
















Tightenings thin your cervix. Contractions need to last 45-60 seconds and be strong to dilate the cervix past 2-3cm.

What can you do?

  • Keep walking and moving

  • Use the swiss/ exercise ball

  • Stand in the shower, take a bath if your waters have not broken.

  • Sitting on the toilet is an excellent position. It opens your hips and relaxes the pelvic floor (Plus any discharge, urine, poo etc can be easily flushed away).

  • Have your support person massage your lower back and hips. (a tennis ball works well)

  • Focus on your breathing: steady, deep breaths, blowing out through your tummy as you exhale

  • Distract yourself with music, TV and normal daily activities (bake a cake for your baby’s birthday)

  • Keep eating

  • Drink lots of water (try coconut water…)

  • Paracetemol (1g=2 tablets) every 6 hours may help with cramping discomfort

  • A hot water bottle/ heat pack/ wheat bag is soothing. Have a look at TENS machine…

  • Try some aromatherapy oils, like Lavender or Sage to calm the atmosphere and help you to relax

  • You can use Rescue Remedy (available from the pharmacy or health shop) to also help calm you

  • The more you relax and work WITH your body, the better the labour will progress.




Time to call if…


  • Any warning signs listed below

  • If it’s your first baby: when you have been contracting every 2-3 minutes, lasting 60 seconds for a minimum of 1 hour consistently. Unless you feel you wish to push or have other concerns.

  • It is normal to dilate 1cm for 2 hours of contractions with a first baby once in active labour (That is: when regular, strong contractions, consistently 3-4 in a 10 minute period, lasting 60 seconds each, usually more than 3cm dilated with fully effaced cervix).

  • If this is not your first birth, please call when contractions are strong, consistent and every 3-4 minutes lasting at least 45 seconds each.











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Warning signs and reasons to call urgently


  • Fresh bright red blood (like bleeding from a cut or wound)

  • Reduced fetal movements

  • If your water breaks and the water colour us green, brown, bright red or smelly. It should be clear or pink.

  • You have constant pain in your tummy that does not come and go with contractions

  • You are less than 37 weeks pregnant and experiencing any labour signs

  • You feel hot, unwell and have other serious concerns.


Remember: you need to time the contractions from the start of one, to the start of the next. Not the time between

You need at least 3-4 consistent contractions in a 10 minute window for active labour…

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