Rest loads now while you can because you will get none very soon, take plenty of drinks and snacks I hadn't slept the night before I had my little boy because my partners brother was fighting on my front n as I couldn't stop the fight I stood on the kerb jumping n shouting m went into labour the next day was exhausted when I went into labour 23 and 1/2 hours. Don't get your hopes up with the sweep, my friend actually went running up and down the stairs to bring on her labour which she went into labour that night. And be strong
Straws... Was in no fit state to hold a cup and sip. Straw was great, DH held cup and would suck.
Socks... Keep your feet cosy. Am taking the same pair of socks that I wore for DD's birth to my next one. They were bright stripes and were silly enough to focus on.
Snacks... Flapjack is good. Soft dried Apricots (aldi) for after, sugary fibre mmm. Also something for DH/P some of the snack machines are miles away and they might get lost. But don't pig out, my friend spectacularly puked over DH, midwife and baby as it emerged.
Agree about still drinks. I was mainly on water, but had some fruit juice to boost me when flagging.
Dry lips from breathing exercises/entinox, I had some Vaseline handy, but was later told I shouldn't have used it but can't remember why.
Make sure your birth partner is familiar with your birth plan and anything that is especially important to you so if you are in the throes of labour they can advocate it for you or help make decisions if changes to it are needed.
Do whatever feels natural at the time ie if you want to squat down with each contraction, then do it, if you want to make groaning noises, then do it.
Different labours need different pain relief to cope with them. Just because Mrs Perfect over the road gave birth with no pain relief doesn't mean you are less of a woman or mother because you are crying for an epidural.
Don't be disappointed if your labour doesn't end up fitting with your birth plan. Go with the flow, you can't change what will happen anyway!
Learn to shut down any part of your brain that is non essential. And don't make rigid plans for birth just go with whatever comes at you. The goal is to get your baby the rest minor details. Pack a warm cardi, I was freezing after giving birth even though the hospital was really warm. Get a cheap short nightie from primark with buttons on the front. I've noticed everyone on obem has the one I had and it was brilliant. Pack posh shower gel, it makes you feel better. Charge your phone up.
Walk. Lots! Walking around speeds labour up dramatically.
Try to keep calm and keep everyone around you calm. My first labour was fine and all but my husband obviously didn't like seeing me in pain and because he didn't know what was and wasn't normal he was panicky and worried. My mum was calm and knew it was all normal and a complete rock. So my second labour I told hubby to go watch football and play xbox and i'd let him know when she was crowning.
try not to scream, not because i believe you should suck up the pain but because that energy is much more useful being held in and pushed downwards. try biting something instead! with my first labour i bit the tube from the empty gas and air canister.
snacks are all well and good but i can't really vote on those because both my labours were so quick i didn't need them. HOWEVER afterwards the best thing my husband did was go and buy me a cheeseburger!
if you have a straightforward pregnancy consider a homebirth, i'm not saying it's for everyone but it's definitely worth talking to your midwife about and thinking about. i wanted my first at home (got told he was going to be massive and they didn't recommend it) had him in hospital straightforward 4 hour labour, my second i had at home 1 hour labour on my bed (although i'd planned on having her in the front room but she arrived faster than planned) and was able to hop in my own bath, my own bed, sit on my own sofa the next day with a mars bar watching tv. my son wasn't worried that mum was in hospital (he did go to my mum's while i was giving birth though) it was all calm and i felt more in control. it was so beautiful and if i have another baby i would definitely do it again.
in the first 24 hours after giving birth if you need a wee, RUN!