Preparing for Birth  


Giving birth is one of the most life-changing experiences you’ll ever have, but it doesn’t always go as planned, especially when your baby is premature. 

Many women don’t go to antenatal classes until around week 30 of their pregnancy, so if you have your baby unexpectedly before this, you may not have made a birth plan or even thought about how you wanted to give birth. 

If you have written a birth plan, having your baby prematurely may mean you’ll probably have to do things differently from what you originally planned. For example:  

  • you will need to go to hospital rather than having the baby at home or in a midwife-led unit. 
  • if your hospital of choice does not have specialist facilities (NICU/SCN) for premature babies, you may need to be transferred to one that does. 
  • if there are any complications, for example, if your doctor or midwife is concerned about your health or your baby’s, you may need help such as an emergency c-section. 

In some cases, pre-term labour is planned because it's safer for the baby to be born sooner rather than later. This could be because of a health condition in the mother (such as pre-eclampsia) or in the baby (such as fetal growth restriction). 

  • If your healthcare team know you need to give birth early, you may be offered an induction or caesarean section.  
  • If this is the case, you may have some time to prepare for your birth

Every parent hopes for a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy, labour and birth. It can be very upsetting when this doesn’t happen. Don’t be afraid to tell your healthcare professional how you feel. They won’t judge you. It is common for a parent’s mental health to be affected after having a baby and your healthcare professionals are aware of this.  

You can also contact the Miracle Babies Foundation NurtureLine on 1300 622 243. 

The NurtureLine is a free family support helpline catering for families with a threatened pregnancy, the hospital journey with a baby currently in NICU or SCN, the transition to home and onwards.  

NurtureLine is available 7 days a week and is answered by our friendly staff who can transfer your call to an approved and trained family support team member.  

NurtureProgram team members are able to listen, share, understand and support families as they too have experienced the guilt, fear, anxiety and isolation of having a baby challenged by prematurity or sickness.

Need support? NurtureConnect allows you to connect with our NurtureProgram support team, or call our 24 hour NurtureLine 1300 622 243 or join our Facebook community.


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Disclaimer: This publication by Miracle Babies Foundation is intended solely for general education and assistance and it is it is not medical advice or a healthcare recommendation. It should not be used for the purpose of medical diagnosis or treatment for any individual condition. This publication has been developed by our Parent Advisory Team (all who are parents of premature and sick babies) and has been reviewed and approved by a Clinical Advisory Team. This publication is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Miracle Babies Foundation recommends that professional medical advice and services be sought out from a qualified healthcare provider familiar with your personal circumstances. To the extent permitted by law, Miracle Babies Foundation excludes and disclaims any liability of any kind (directly or indirectly arising) to any reader of this publication who acts or does not act in reliance wholly or partly on the content of this general publication. If you would like to provide any feedback on the information please email [email protected].