Patient Care Units
Care during labour and childbirth
Midwives are on-call and available 24 hours a day by pager, once you have informed a midwife that you think your labour has started. During early labour you can be in touch with a midwife by phone, as you feel the need. Once active labour is established, you will be cared for by your primary midwife (or an associate from her MGP group if she is unavailable). A second midwife may be called when labour is advanced, depending upon your wishes and needs, and the birth context / place.
Midwives provide skilled clinical, physical an emotional support during labour and birth. During your labour and birth your midwife will be monitoring labour progress, checking your vital signs (blood pressure, pulse and temperature), checking yoiur baby's position, assessing your baby's heart rate, assisting with the birth of your baby and placenta, conducting a physical assessment of the newborn, and assessing your condition during and after the birth. Your midwife will support you to work with / manager your labour pain by suggesting position changes and other measures (eg: birthing ball, hot packs, shower, bath, birthing bar and pharmacological pain relief, if requested) to assist you. Your midwife will also provide your with feedback relevant to your labour. Your midwife will encourage an active labour and birth, where possible and appropriate.
The most important emotional support is likely to be provided by your partner, family and/or close friends and we encourage you to have at least one person who can support you during your labour and the birth of your baby. If possible it is helpful if your midwife meets your support person/people at one of your antenatal visits.
If there are no complications you may decide to go home a few hours after your baby is born.
last modified: 30 Mar 2009