So what can you do from a practical perspective to help yourself during labour? What birth choices might you like to consider? Where do you want to give birth? What about pain relief? All these choices can seem a little overwhelming, so dip in and out of this section during pregnancy. But do gather as much information as you can, the magic of a birth plan is in the MAKING of it! If you don’t know all your options, you don’t have any! The articles below will start to uncover the evidence behind many of your birth choices, cover a lot of the ‘what if’ situations that make arise (and how to make those positive). Know what you’re after? Use the search tool below or simply have a browse!

Place of Birth Choices

One of the first decisions you will make around your birth is both which trust to book your care with and where you would like to give birth. Did you know you can book you care under ANY hospital in the entire country if you wanted to? It doesn’t have to be your nearest. You don’t even have to see your GP first, most maternity units will have a ‘self referral’ system online.

Once you have ‘booked’ with the midwife you might start considering where you would actually like to be to give birth. You have three main options when accessing NHS care. Hospital (Labour Ward/ Delivery Suite), Birth Centre (Freestanding or attached) or home. You may also be considering private care, be that from an independent midwife or private obstetrician (These are likely to look like VERY different choices, so do your research first!). You are also within your rights to access no care at all, though I would urge you to consider that choice very carefully. All women should have the option to consider all places of birth, though some may be more suitable than other in some circumstances. Have a read around what these options may mean for your birth, and use the handy decision making tools in the next section to help you decide!

Birth Place Study

The Birth Place Study

In 2011, researchers reviewed the labours and births of 64,000 low risk women, which provided us with an excellent resource to compare birth place choices.

Based on the planned place of birth, researchers compared everything from interventions to adverse outcomes for baby; rates of tearing to rates of augmentation (speeding up labour.) You can read the full study (it’s long!) here, or I have included a summary to the left. This can be a helpful resource to include when deciding where to have your baby.


Pain Relief Options

Whether you’re hoping to avoid it all, or jumping on anything you can get your hands on, it’s important to understand the risks and benefits of all your choices AND how you can make those choices positive!


Birth Choices

Starting to think about what you might like your birth to look like? Who do you want there? Where do you want to be? What if you’re offered interventions? What can you to make things as positive as possible? Scroll through the many articles from Positively Birthing Online for TONS of hints and tips to help you decide!