Friday, December 18, 2009
Are you in labor?
When to go to the hospital is a question I get asked all the time. The answer is somewhat different for different people. It depends what number of baby it is for you and how fast your other labors were. If you are someone that delivers in less than 4 hours or so, you should probably go when you are having contractions 10-15 mins apart for an hour and if they are painful. If your labors are longer, or if this is your first baby, then wait till contractions are 3-5 mins apart (counting from the start of one to the start of the next), for an hour or two. If you are on a second baby, things usually are about half the time of your first, so you may want to go when contractions are 5-8 mins apart. You should always be feeling your baby even during labor so if you are concerned about movement, then go to the hospital. Also, if your water breaks, or if you are feeling pressure in your vagina, pain down your legs, or pain in your back, you should go to the hospital. Some bloody discharge is also normal during labor and is another indicator of your cervix opening and time to go in. Most contractions that are actually changing your cervix are painful, hard to breathe through, and don't stop even if you stop. If you take a warm bath and re-hydrate and are still contracting and painful, you should be checked.