Skip links and keyboard navigation

Preparing for labour

What to bring

For mothers

  • Comfortable clothes and PJs
  • Set of clothes for going home
  • Maternity bras and pants
  • Maternity sanitary pads
  • Breast pads
  • Toiletries/cosmetics
  • Phone/charger
  • Medicare card
  • Health care benefits card
  • Private health insurance cards
  • Pregnancy Health Record

For baby

  • Newborn nappies
  • Baby clothes
  • Rugs/wraps

Vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC)

If you have had a previous caesarean section, you may wish to birth your baby either via a VBAC or an elective c section. Both options have risks and benefits that should be discussed with your maternity healthcare provider before a decision is reached.

Support during labour

Your support people will play an important role for you when you are in labour. Your support people will help you feel comfortable and share this experience with you. Your support people may:

  • help to make you physically comfortable
  • offer emotional support
  • provide positive encouragement
  • assist you with your breathing techniques

Ways to prepare

Many women have found the techniques below help them to cope physically and emotionally through labour:

  • relaxation/breathing exercises/hypnotherapy
  • childbirth education – for you and your support person
  • discussing any fears with a trusted maternity health professional

Active birth

We encourage you to remain active during your labour and birth to help manage surges or contractions and to relax your mind and body as much as possible. This will help with the release of your body’s natural endorphins. It is important to understand the benefits, risks and alternative methods available when deciding which techniques you wish to use.

Active birth techniques include:

  • Varying positions during labour such as standing, walking and/or lying on your side
  • Drinking fluids to prevent dehydration
  • Using a heat pack
  • Listening to music that you find calming
  • Having someone give you a massage
  • A warm shower/bath
Last updated: 30 April 2018