Almost all deliveries start between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. Your midwife can guide your delivery in this period. If all goes well, you can choose where and how you want to deliver your baby yourself.
When the time has come
Most deliveries start with contractions. Only in one out of 10 deliveries do the membranes rupture first and you lose amniotic water. A first delivery takes an average of 12 hours, counting from the moment the contractions are regular (every five minutes or quicker). A subsequent delivery usually goes faster.
Tips for when your contractions start
- Try to create warmth by pulling on socks or covering yourself with a blanket, or taking a warm shower or bath
- Changing your position can help to make it easier to deal with the pain
- Try to start your delivery well rested. Make sure to go to bed on time in the weeks before childbirth, and take an afternoon nap if possible
- Make sure to go to the toilet every few hours so your bladder doesn't get too full
- Take a short walk around or in your house and garden
- Give your tummy and the baby enough space. Make sure you are relaxed and try not to be cramped
- Eat regularly, but not too much at once.
A delivery can be compared to running a marathon... Do whatever feels best and most relaxed for you; lying down, sitting, walking or taking a shower or bath.