Mums’ top tips on how to get through your labour

Mums offer their advice about what to do during labour

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Easing labour pain

“A warm bath really helped when I was in labour with Tiana Rose. I woke up with contractions and got into the tub almost immediately, and stayed in the warm water for three hours. It really soothed me and I even managed a quick snooze as I was so relaxed.”

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Emma Weaver, 26, Gloucestershire, mum to Tiana Rose, 11 weeks

Coping with a fast labour

“My son Harry arrived in 40 minutes so there wasn’t any time for the hospital birth I’d planned. Try not to panic or worry about all the plans you did have as the main thing is that your baby arrives safely. Once you’re over the shock you’ll be relieved to have delivered so quickly! ”

Joanne Hever, 28, from London, mum to Harry, 2 months

Having an active birth

“When I gave birth to my first child, I spent a lot of time lying down. For my second and third births I decided I wanted to be more active so I kept upright the whole time by pacing the room and walking up and down the stairs. I also used deep relaxation techniques and mantras. I think a combination of both meant I only had to push a few times and both births were under three hours and very positive.”

Pru Simpson, 31, from West Sussex, mum to Charlie, 4, Maddie, 2, and Eva, 11 months

Making the most of your birth partner

“I gave my birth partner some massage oil and showed him exactly where I wanted to be massaged during contractions. Also, when the day comes don’t let him try the gas and air – my partner became rather fond of sneaking little puffs both times I was in labour and occasionally I had to wave wildly that I needed it back immediately!”

Helen Ostler, 37, from East Sussex, mum to Alice, 3, and Sam, 2

For an energy boost in labour

“A few days before my due date I made a playlist on my iPod of my favourite upbeat songs that remind me of going out dancing with my friends. I played it during labour, and it helped keep me keep going when I was so tired I felt like giving up.”

Stephanie Jenkins, 29, from Derby, mum to Ryan, 4 weeks

Deciding on pain relief

“Think about more than one option. All I wanted to use during labour was gas and air but when the big day arrived I had contractions so painful I could barely stand. Gas and air wasn’t enough, so as soon as the midwife offered pethidine I agreed – and all my worries about it just disappeared!”

Simone Pollock, 24, from Cambridgeshire, mum to Kayllum, 16 months

Keeping cool during labour

“Olive was born at the height of last summer and I got really hot during my labour. I found wrapping loads of ice in a flannel and holding it on my brow and on the back of my neck cooled me down more than anything else. Sucking the ice water kept me hydrated too.”

Jennifer Smith, 33, from Plymouth, mum to Olive, 9 months

For an easy birth

“I would say, always listen to your midwife during labour. When I gave birth to Monique, I was ready to push but my midwife said to hold on while my baby’s head crowned. It was uncomfortable and painful but I did it, I held on and didn’t have any tearing at all.”

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Diana Holwerda, 36, from Narrabeen, mum to Mateo, 2, and Monique, 7 months

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