With the right advice, pregnancy and motherhood can be a carefree experience.

The birth

The birth is the natural biological conclusion of pregnancy that leads to a mother meeting her baby. Births are even harder to compare than pregnancies, so there is no sense in stressing yourself about your friends' experiences, and even less sense believing what you may have seen in childbirth scenes on television or at the cinema.

Every pregnant woman's experience of childbirth is hers alone, and the birth is about her and her baby. Of course it is a good idea to prepare yourself for it – choose a maternity unit where you will feel at home and where they will listen to your wishes, and learn some suitable relaxation and breathing techniques.

It is also good to know how to recognise signs that labour has started and how to distinguish them from false alarms. You should also inform yourself about what happens during labour and birth, since all your exertions will be easier if you are able to imagine that any moment now you will be holding a wonderful baby in your arms.