When Should You Go to The Hospital to Deliver?
The biggest fear of many pregnant women is not recognizing the symptoms of childbirth and not going to the hospital to deliver in time.
In this article we’ll share with you some tips on how to identify this special moment.
In order to avoid the inconvenience of going to and from the hospital frequently because it’s still not the right time for childbirth, it’s best to know how to identity the signs that you’re going into labor.
What to do before going to the hospital to deliver?
Childbirth requires certain preparation before the special moment.
Parents must decide whether they’ll go directly to the emergency room or whether their gynecologist or midwife will come to the house to provide assistance.
A good tip is to figure out a mode of transport and to calculate the time that it takes you to get to the hospital from the house.
Keep at hand your medical history, baby bag, IDs, social security card and everything else you’re going to take to the hospital.
You should also plan ahead of time who will take care of your other children (if you have others). Arrange your work affairs in advance. In some cases delivery can occur before the scheduled time.
When should you go to the hospital for childbirth?
The best time to go to the hospital is when you’re in labor. There are several signs that warn about the imminence of childbirth.
Water breaking and the exit of amniotic fluid can occur gradually or suddenly.
In some women the moment their water breaks may be accompanied by contractions. If this occurs, you should go to the hospital immediately.
If you start to notice vaginal bleeding with mucus, this is due to the exit of the plug that surrounds the cervix. Its expulsion can occur at any time and it means that the baby’s birth is approaching.
Contractions are an unequivocal sign of labor. It is important to keep track of the frequency and duration of the contractions.
Active contractions occur within 5 minutes from the last contraction and they have a duration of between 45 to 60 seconds. These contractions are accompanied by the dilation of the cervix.
If your contractions are similar to the ones mentioned above, it is time to go to the hospital for childbirth.
Your body will also send you signals that the time has come. Follow your instinct and go to your doctor if you get the feeling. Doing so will give you peace of mind.
Risks of going to the hospital before labor
Being in the hospital at an early stage of labor increases stress and anxiety.
This also increases the risk of intervention methods such as using oxytocic and epidural anesthesia.
Contractions alone don’t merit going to the hospital
Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular and occur with moderate belly pain. These types of contractions disappear after changing positions.
Spasms and cramps are very frequent during pregnancy and can often be confused with labor contractions. These symptoms however only last for 15 to 20 seconds, they then disappear after resting or changing positions.
There are contractions that are slightly more painful and they occur in some women who have a prolonged period of time between one childbirth and another.
In order to relieve the pain these contractions produce, warm baths and back massages are recommended.
“When contractions occur in the first phase of labor, it is best to wait at home until they reach the active phase.”
What to expect at the hospital?
Upon arrival at the health center, a nurse will examine your temperature and blood pressure.
Blood and urine samples may also be taken. They will monitor your abdomen to evaluate the baby’s heartbeat and contractions.
The doctor will decide how to classify the stage of labor you are in. They may send you back home if you aren’t ready.
This should not surprise you, it is better to wait in the comfort of your own home rather than being in the hospital for a long time.
When should you go to a health center urgently?
Some complications that require immediate medical attention can occur at the end of pregnancy.
These complications include heavy vaginal bleeding or contractions that occur before the 37th week of gestation.
If your water breaks and it’s yellow, greenish or brown, this may indicate the presence of meconium.
Meconium is a term that defines the baby’s first stools. It could be a sign of fetal distress and it can cause severe damage to the baby’s health.
If you have a persistent headache, discomfort in your upper abdomen, vision difficulty or abnormal swelling, you should consult your doctor immediately.
Knowing the signs that indicate the necessity of going to the hospital is the best way to avoid unforeseen events that could be regretted later on.