It is important for you to know the signs of labour and to be prepared. Knowing all about the stages of labour and what to expect will also help put your mind at rest.


Remember to call the hospital or unit before you leave home, and bring your maternity notes with you.

If it’s your first pregnancy and you’re not sure when to come to the hospital or birth unit, call the delivery suite at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital or your chosen birth unit.

You will be asked to come into the hospital or birth unit if your waters have broken, or when your contractions are:

  • regular (around 5 minutes apart)
  • strong
  • lasting about 60 seconds