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When do I go to the Hospital

Going through the initial pangs of labor in familiar surroundings has its advantages, the main being the comfort of your home when you are anxiety-ridden. Though your apprehension may make you want to rush to the hospital at the first sign or twinge you experience, the general advice is the longer you stay at home the better.

Being anxious at a time like this is only natural and you would want to be in familiar surroundings that offers comfort. A hospital atmosphere is only going to intensify the unease, and added to that if you arrive too early there is a good chance that you will be sent back home.

Laboring in familiar surroundings has its advantages - you'll be surrounded by your home comforts, and birth props. A birth ball is a prop some women find useful in labor as you can lie on it, rock on it or lean over it for support.

Routine questions at the hospital..

When you get there you'll be asked a series of questions about your progress with labor so far. Typical questions include the following -

  • Whether your waters have broken (if yes, the fluid may be tested)
  • Whether you have had a show or any vaginal bleeding
  • If you've experienced any contractions and its details When you last ate
It is important to get rest and conserve energy until you are in full labor.

Typical tests include

Having your blood pressure, pulse and temperature checked and you'll be asked for a urine sample to test for protein (a sign of pre-eclampsia).

An internal examination to see if your cervix has dilated at all (if it hasn't you may be advised to return home until you're in active labor).

The OB-GYN or nurse-midwife will feel your tummy at some point to check your baby's position. If you're found to be in established labor, you'll be admitted.

Time to go

If your contractions are coming every 5 to 15 minutes and lasts about 45 seconds to one minute each, does not die off despite you moving around, and this pattern has persisted for over an hour, you need to call your doctor. There is no need to rush or panic because the first stage of labor can last anyway from 8 to 14 hours, (unless distance to the hospital is a factor).

Call your OB-GYN or hospital if your waters break, or your contractions are five minutes apart and get stronger over time, or if you experience any vaginal bleeding.

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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