Birth is a normal life event.
But it's one of the most exciting.

Labour & Birth

Stages of Labour
Your birth plan
& the signs of labour.

Am I in Labour?

Signs of Labour

Birth Preference Lists

A ‘Birth Preference List’ is a way for you to highlight particular requests that you may have for your labour and birth. You do not have to have a birth preference list – our aim is for you to have as natural a birth as possible. However, once you have completed your parent education classes, you may wish to make a preference list for birth. It is very important that you discuss your birth preferences with your midwife or doctor well in advance of your labour.

If there are any areas where the hospital may be unable to meet a particular request, you will be given an explanation for this, and possibly an alternative option. Once the discussion is completed, your midwife or doctor will sign your birth preference list and a copy will be scanned into your electronic medical chart. It is important to have an open mind about your labour and birth. We aim to work in partnership with you and to keep you informed and involved in your care during labour and birth.

Labour & Birth

Am I in Labour?

There are midwives on duty in the assessment and emergency unit, 24-hours a day. If you are in labour, they are only a phone call away at 01 817 1700. The midwife will ask you some questions. If you have your healthcare record at home, the midwife may ask for some details from the record. The midwife may advise you to stay at home and to ring again when your labour is stronger. Very often the reassurance of speaking to the midwife will give you the confidence to know that all is well and that you can stay at home for another while. If your healthcare record is in the hospital, the midwife will make sure your healthcare record is available when you come in.

Labour Assesment

The midwife will keep you informed about how your labour is progressing and give you an indication of how long your labour might last. She will discuss options and choices for labour with you. If you have made a birth plan, please let the midwife know.

Labour & Birth

Contact the assessment and emergency unit if you have;

  • been advised to come straight to hospital once labour starts by your doctor or midwife;
  • contractions every 5 – 7 minutes, with pains lasting more than 45 seconds;
  • any vaginal bleeding that is not a ‘show’;
  • concerns about your baby’s movements;
  • severe, lasting abdominal pain;
  • headaches or blurred vision;
  • been feeling generally unwell;
  • your waters have broken; of if you have
  • any other worries or concerns about yourself or your baby.

When to Contact the Hospital

There are midwives on duty in the assessment and emergency unit, 24-hours a day, and they are only a phone call away.
The midwife will ask you some questions.

Call: 01 817 1700
Labour & Birth

Monitoring your Labour

The midwife will monitor your baby’s heartbeat throughout your labour. If your labour is slow, the doctor or midwife may recommend speeding up or accelerating your labour.

A doppler is a small hand-held ultrasound machine that looks like a microphone. It is placed on your tummy and allows you, your birth partner and midwife to listen to the baby’s heartbeat.

Labour & Birth

Pain Management

You can practice some self-help techniques like relaxation, breathing and walking to help manage pain and discomfort. It is difficult to know before labour what will work best for you.

The midwife will be able to provide you with additional information to help you choose what suits you. Here are some facts about the main methods of pain management available in the Rotunda.

Labour & Birth

After Care

Immediate care of you after birth. Your beautiful newborn baby will seem to have the attention of everyone in the room, but you are also very important! Following the birth, the midwife or doctor will examine your and your baby extensively

Immediately after birth, your baby will be dried and placed on your chest and tummy in direct contact with your skin and you will both be covered with a blanket. Skin to skin contact allows you to look closely at your baby and to touch them for the first time. Skin to skin contact also comforts your baby as they stay close to you. We recommend you put a hat on your baby’s head to help them keep warm. At the Rotunda, we aim to allow uninterrupted skin to skin contact for at least 60 minutes. If you are going to fall asleep during skin to skin contact or anytime your baby is lying prone (on their tummy) make sure there is somebody close by to check on your baby.