Labour & Birth

Breathing During Labour

What affects my breathing in labour?

  • Excitement
  • Pain
  • Tiredness
  • Worries/anxiety
  • Fear
  • Contractions.

Listening to your Baby's Heartbeat

A major part of midwifery care during labour is listening to and recording your baby’s heartbeat to help identify if there are any problems.

Meeting an Anaesthetist in Maternity

An anaesthetist is a fully qualified doctor with specialist training who you may meet at various points throughout your pregnancy and birth.

Caesarean Section

A caesarean section, or C-section, is an operation to deliver your baby through a cut made in your tummy and womb.

Umbilical Cord Blood Collection

Commercial umbilical cord blood collection refers to a service offered by commercial companies to harvest and store stem cells following family requests even though there may be no medical indication.

Read information about labour and birth on and

Preparing for the birth white logo on blue background

Find out how to get ready for the birth including making a birth plan.

When to go to the hospital or birth centre white logo on blue background

If it's your first pregnancy, you may feel unsure about when you should go into hospital or a midwifery unit. The best thing to do is to call your hospital or unit for advice.

Signs of labour white logo on blue background

Read about how to tell if you're in labour.

Pack your bag for labour white logo on blue background

What you'll need for labour and birth. Get a few things ready at least 3 weeks before your due date.

Spontaneous Rupture of the Membranes (SRM) white logo on blue background

Signs that labour has begun - Know the signs. 

Call your midwife or maternity unit if:

  • your waters break
  • you have vaginal bleeding
  • your baby is moving less than usual
  • you're less than 37 weeks pregnant and think you might be in labour

Membrane sweep white logo on blue background

Before inducing labour, you'll be offered a membrane sweep, also known as a cervical sweep, to bring on labour.

Inducing labour white logo on blue background

An induced labour is one that's started artificially. Sometimes labour can be induced if your baby is overdue or there's any risk to you or your baby's health.

The stages of labour and birth white logo on blue background
  • Latent stage of labour
  • Established labour (1st stage of labour)
  • 2nd stage of labour
  • 3rd stage of labour

Forceps or vacuum delivery white logo on blue background

Assisted delivery. An assisted birth (also known as an instrumental delivery) is when forceps or a ventouse suction cup are used to help deliver the baby.

Umbilical Cord Prolapse

RCOG logo

An umbilical cord prolapse usually happens during labour but can occur when the waters break before labour starts. Please read the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) guidelines on Umbilical cord prolapse in late pregnancy.

Contact North Bristol NHS Trust Maternity

Contact a midwife to book for antenatal care or leave a message on 0117 4146743

Antenatal Clinic
Telephone: 0117 4146924 or 0117 4146925

Antenatal Assessment Unit (Quantock Assessment Unit)
Telephone: 0117 4146906

Assessment Ward (Quantock Ward)
Telephone: 0117 4146904 or 0117 4146905

Cossham Birth Centre, Kingswood
Telephone: 0117 4145150

Southmead Maternity Reception
Telephone: 0117 4146894

Mendip Birth Centre, Southmead
Telephone: 0117 4146900

Mendip Ward, Southmead (Postnatal / Transitional Care)
Telephone: 0117 4146901

Central Delivery Suite Reception, Southmead
Telephone: 0117 4146916 or 0117 4146917.

Percy Phillips Ward (Postnatal Ward)
Telephone: 0117 4146821 or 0117 4146822

Southmead Hospital Switchboard: 0117 9505050