Active labour The stage or stages of labour when there are strong, regular contractions and the cervix is opening or open. (Not to be confused with active birth).
Active birth A birth using upright positions, movement and/or regular position changes. Active birth has been shown to reduce the need for interventions.
Anaesthetist A doctor who specialises in providing pain relief during labour
Birth canal The passageway that your baby travels through during birth (vagina and cervix).
Birth plan Document to describe your preferences for what happens during labour and birth.
Caesarean  An operation to deliver your baby through a cut in your tummy and womb. Also known as c-section or caesarean section.
Cardiotocography or CTG A way of measuring and displaying heart rate changes over time to indicate the wellbeing of an unborn baby. When used in labour, CTG is used to continuously monitor a baby's heart rate (see also Intermittent Auscultation).
Colostrum The thicker, golden breastmilk which is produced in the first days following a birth which contains high levels of protective antibodies.
Epidural An injection in your back carried out to block the pain from your lower body.
Intermittent Auscultation or IA A technique for monitoring the wellbeing of an unborn baby during labour where the care provider listens to the baby's heart rate for one minute at set intervals.
Labour The process your body goes through to birth your baby which includes having muscle contractions of your womb.
Meconium Your baby’s first black, tarry poo.
Neonatal nurse A nurse who is trained to care for premature babies or those who are unwell when they’re born.
Neonatologist A doctor who specialises in the health of newborn babies.
Obstetric Unit Often referred to as a Labour Ward or Delivery Suite, an obstetric unit is a birth setting within a hospital staffed by both doctors and midwives.
Obstetrician A doctor who is a specialist in any complications of pregnancy and birth.
Paediatrician A doctor who specialises in the health of children and babies.
Post-partum or postnatal period First six weeks after childbirth.
Ventouse A suction-cup applied to the baby's head used in some cases to assist with a birth.