Last updated on Jun 11th, 2021 at 05:19 pm

Everybody has advice for you when it comes to giving birth. Advice on what to do, and what to avoid. Opinions on pain, positions and even what to pack are passed on. Here’s what you really need to know going into birth.

Don’t rush off

In the movies it may seem that as your water breaks, you need to put the car’s hazard lights on and scream off to the labour ward. This is hardly the case. In fact, the first stages of labour can take a very long time.

ALSO SEE: What to expect during the different stages of labour

Stay home

Home is where the heart is, and in labour it is often where a mother can be the most relaxed. In the comfort of your home, it is easier to relax and progress in a calm environment. Do head off to the hospital if any warning signs arise though.

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ALSO SEE: 10 pregnancy warning signs to look out for

Be prepared from 38 weeks for labour to start

Babies are ready to be born at any time from 38 to 42 weeks of gestation. So, have that bag packed and plans in place for D-day.

ALSO SEE: What to pack in you and your baby’s hospital bags

Your birth plan is not concrete

Do understand that while it is a good idea to have a plan in place, it is equally as important to ensure you provide for some flexibility. Sometimes babies don’t follow the plan. This can mean that while you had hoped intervention may not be needed to safely deliver your baby, it could happen.

ALSO SEE: Download your printable birth plan here 

It takes two of you to get the baby out

Your birth partner is vitally important during the birth for support, encouragement and strength to draw on. If you feel you may need a little more help, consider getting a doula to assist.

Be mobile

Lying flat on your back is going to slow your labour down. You need gravity to work with you and by being upright and moving around slowly, you are helping to move that baby down into the birth canal.

ALSO SEE: 6 alternative positions for childbirth 

Conserve your energy

Birthing a baby is a long-distance endurance event. Don’t exhaust yourself in the first few hours. Try to relax between contractions and rest to ensure you have the strength needed to push the baby out.

Try not to be afraid

Fear in labour can slow things down. Try to view any pain as positive and encouraging. It is showing you that your body is working and that your labour is progressing.

Make sure you have water and snacks

Have a steady supply of cool liquids to drink and easy things to snack on like dried fruits and nuts to help keep your energy levels up and keep you hydrated.

Enjoy your labour

Most importantly enjoy your labour. It is one of the most awesome, inspiring, wonderous achievements you will ever have in your life.