Labour and birth

Giving birth is different for everyone. Understanding your options for pain relief and using coping methods can help you prepare.

Pain relief

Pain relief means stopping or reducing the pain you feel during labour with medicines or medical treatments. Pain relief can include:

Each method has advantages and disadvantages. We have included these to help you decide which method is best for you.

Read more about pain relief in labour.

Coping methods

Coping methods can help you cope with labour pain, but will not take away the pain completely. They can include:

Read more about coping methods in labour.

Antenatal classes

To prepare for the arrival of your baby, you might find it helpful to go to antenatal classes.

The classes give you information about what happens during your pregnancy, how to care for your baby, and what to expect when you go into labour. You'll learn about methods to help you cope with labour pain.

Where you can give birth

We support births at home and in our hospital. Our midwives and obstetricians (specialist doctors) can help you decide on the best option for you and your baby.

Home from home birth centre

Our midwives will support you to have an uncomplicated birth, using coping methods such as birthing pools, massage and complementary therapies.

The centre also offers gas and air (entonox) and injection of diamorphine as pain relief.

Read more about our home from home birth centre.

Hospital birth centre

The labour ward is staffed by obstetricians, midwives and specialists including anaesthetists. This is the safest place to give birth if:

  • you or your baby need specialist care during labour
  • you're having a planned caesarean section
  • you plan to have an epidural during labour

Find out more about giving birth in hospital.

Your home

Our home birth service is for people who plan to have a baby at home and live in our local area. A midwife will visit you to help you prepare, and support you at home through labour and birth.

Read more about giving birth at home

Useful information

We have more information about how we care for you when you're giving birth. This includes where you can give birth, home births and visiting.

Read more about care when giving birth.

The NHS website also has a lot of information about preparing for birth, including:

    Resource number: 0075/VER4
    Page currently under review

    Contact us

    If you have any questions, phone 020 7188 8760 Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm.

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