Your midwife will care for you during labour and the birth of your baby. If you have a specialist doctor as your main carer, they will be there for the birth and a midwife or midwives will care for you during your labour.
Your midwife will support and encourage you through your labour in line with your birth plan. If there are any problems during labour or birth, your midwife or specialist doctor will get help.
Care during labour and birth
A midwife will care for you during labour and the birth of your baby. If you choose a midwife as your main carer, she will usually be with you during labour and birth. If a specialist doctor is your main carer, they will usually be involved at the time of the birth and you will have a midwife or midwives to care for you during your labour (ask your doctor about this).
Once you go into labour your midwife will do a check to see how your labour is progressing and review your birth plan with you. This may happen at home or in a birthing unit or in hospital. Your midwife will ask you about what has been happening so far and will check how you and your baby are doing.
- She will take your pulse, temperature and blood pressure.
- She will feel your tummy to check the baby’s position and listen to your baby’s heart.
- She may also examine you internally (with gloved fingers in your vagina) to check how far the the neck of your womb (your cervix) has opened and find out how far on you are in labour.
Once you are in established labour (when the neck of your womb [the cervix] has opened 3–4 centimetres and you are getting regular contractions), your midwife will support and encourage you as your labour progresses. She will make sure that you and your baby are doing well. If there are any problems during labour or birth your midwife or specialist doctor will get help.
If you are having your baby at home
If you are having your baby at home your midwife will arrange for a second midwife to help at the birth. Your midwife will also make sure she has all the right equipment for you to have your baby at home including emergency equipment just in case there are any problems during labour or birth.