Birth Information

AIMS has been providing information and support to women and their families since 1960.

Our Pregnancy, Birth and Infant Feeding pages are intended to provide useful information on a variety of topics that we are frequently asked about on our helpline. This information is not intended to replace medical advice, but instead to help you (or people you support) to work out what questions you may wish to ask your health care providers to help them to make your own decisions.

The Birth Information pages are created by volunteer authors and editors, and we have many other topics that we hope to cover in time. Please let us know if you are interested in if you would like to suggest a topic, or if you are interested in writing a new page or have a suggestion for another topic. Please email birthinfo@aims.org.uk

If you would like to speak to one of our helpline volunteers, you can email or call the AIMS helpline (visit our contact page).

Use of AIMS copyright material: all the text, charts and images included in AIMS publications are copyright AIMS unless otherwise indicated. Under UK law, you are permitted to use short extracts from AIMS publications without needing to seek the explicit permission of AIMS, as long as you give the title of the work being quoted, stating AIMS as the author (©AIMS), and provided your use is reasonable and fair. We would be very pleased for you to quote a sentence or two, but if you want to quote a longer extract please contact management@aims.org.uk to explain why you want to quote more and to seek permission.

We ask anyone who quotes from AIMS publications to include the following text:

Extracts from {Title} are ©AIMS. The book is available from shop.aims.org.uk. AIMS is a charity that works towards better births for all by campaigning and information sharing, protecting human rights in childbirth and helping maternity service users to know their rights, whatever birth they want, and wherever they want it. See www.aims.org.uk

Making decisions about your maternity care

Pregnant women and people frequently need to make decisions about the care they want during their pregnancy, birth and afterwards. This article explai…   Read more…

Induction and the chance of a caesarean: what’s the evidence?

Introduction One concern many people have about having their labour induced is that it might increase their chance of having a caesarean. The main rea…   Read more…

How accurate is my 'due date'?

What is a 'due date'? Most pregnancies last between 37 and 42 weeks, and this period is referred to as "term pregnancy". According to the NICE Guideli…   Read more…

Vaginal Examinations

What are Vaginal Exams? During labour, it is normal NHS policy to offer vaginal examinations, sometimes called a VE. It is important to know that they…   Read more…

Induction of Labour

This page is intended to explain in outline the situations where induction of labour might be offered, what it might involve and what options you have…   Read more…

Booking a Homebirth

There is information about your right to a homebirth in our book AIMS Guide to Your Rights in Pregnancy & Birth (principal author Emma Ashworth.) You…   Read more…

Birth trauma resources

The Europe-wide Research Network DEVOTION CA118211 is a made up of researchers and clinicians dedicated to minimising birth trauma and optimising birt…   Read more…

Obstetric Violence

What rights and protections are pregnant women and people entitled to during pregnancy and birth? The World Health Organization (WHO) highlights that:…   Read more…

Medications in Pregnancy

Medications (drugs) should only be prescribed in pregnancy after careful consideration of the risks and benefits to mother and baby. Thanks to a world…   Read more…

Medications and Breastfeeding

In the past it was common to be told that breastfeeding could not continue whilst the mother was taking medication. More recently, evidence-based info…   Read more…

Ways of managing your labour

Many things can affect how you will experience the sensations of labour and there are various options to help you cope and manage your labour. Some of…   Read more…

Choosing your Place of Birth

What are my options? Whether you are expecting your first baby, second, third or more, you have the right to choose where you want to give birth. Depe…   Read more…

Understanding quantitative research evidence

What is quantitative research? There are two main types of research study: quantitative and qualitative (though some studies use a mixture of these me…   Read more…

Monitoring your baby's heartbeat in labour

Why is a baby’s heartbeat monitored? Monitoring a baby’s heartbeat during labour aims to help to assess the baby’s well-being and to see how well she…   Read more…

Caesarean Birth

About Caesarean Birth Caesarean surgery is lifesaving for some mothers and babies, and avoids problems for others. But in many cases it is not clear t…   Read more…

Pregnancy-related Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP)

What is PGP? PGP affects one in five pregnant women to a great or lesser extent. It causes pain in one or all of the pelvic joints and surrounding mus…   Read more…

Freebirth, Unassisted Pregnancy and Unassisted Birth

What are freebirth and unassisted childbirth? There is no specific definition of freebirth, but broadly speaking, a woman freebirths when she intentio…   Read more…

Vaccination During Pregnancy

Vaccination has long been a controversial and divisive issue and has become even more so during the Coronavirus pandemic. There are strongly-held view…   Read more…

Vitamin K and your Newborn Baby

This article replaces the AIMS book, “Vitamin K and the Newborn” What is Vitamin K? What we refer to as Vitamin K is an important group of chemicals w…   Read more…

Employment Rights and Maternity Benefits (UK)

AIMS provides information and support around the issue of Maternity care, and decisions around pregnancy and birth. Employment Rights and Maternity Be…   Read more…

Who’s Who in Pregnancy and Birth?

We’ve listed the people you are likely to meet whilst you are pregnant, giving birth and postnatally. Some are health care professionals specifically…   Read more…

Template Letters for requesting support

The following template letters are for those struggling to get their support needs met due to restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemi…   Read more…

Latest Content

Journal

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Mental health and pregnancy - Phoeb…

AIMS Journal, 2024, Vol 36, No 2 By Phoebe Howe In early 2016, I was diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD, formally known as Borderline Personal…

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Type 1 diabetes and maternity care:…

AIMS Journal, 2024, Vol 36, No 2 By Jane Furness My daughter is two and a half years old now, but I still have daily flashbacks of our pregnancy and birth together. My hu…

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Epilepsy and pregnancy

AIMS Journal, 2024, Vol 36, No 2 Kim Morley is a nurse and midwife with advanced qualifications who has been instrumental in providing specialised care for women with epi…

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Events

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Birth Rites Collection Summer Schoo…

http://www.birthritescollection.org.uk/ It is a 4-day in person and online summer school which has a programme of artists presenting their work. This year the themes are…

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Latest Campaigns

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Birth Trauma Inquiry Open Letter in…

We write this letter in response to the recently published APPG Report on Birth Trauma which can be found here The report was extremely moving and we honour the brave con…

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Evidence Submission to The House of…

Find submission on UK Parliament webite https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/129150/pdf Introduction AIMS (Association for Improvements in the Maternity Servi…

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What are the priorities for midwife…

AIMS is proud to be supporting the RCM's Research Prioritisation project as a Project Partner and with one of our volunteers on the Steering Group www.rcm.org.uk/promotin…

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