Most women worry about labour, especially first-time mothers.

• You may be given a safe delivery leaflet. It describes the warning signs and the different stages of labour. It will also explain what happens once you arrive at the clinic.
• Some women experience long labours and describe them as easy; others experience short and relatively painless deliveries, but think it was terrible: the experience of labour is different for all women.
• Sometimes things don’t go as planned and caesareans or C-sections have to be performed. This short operation may be the best way to ensure a healthy mother and baby. Women usually recover well within a few weeks.
• Talk to a nurse about your options regarding pain relief in your clinic.
• If you haven’t received the safe delivery leaflet or if you have any additional questions about labour, let a nurse know so she can help you.

During the stages of labour, you are likely to go through many emotions and physical experiences. A birth companion by your side may help you through these.

As early as possible, try to think about someone who could be your birth companion. A birth companion is a person who you trust and who is willing to support you during labour. Discuss the birth companion policy with the nurses at the clinic.