Unless Your Water Breaks, It Can Often Be Difficult To Know When It's Time To Go To The Hospital

Unless your water breaks, it can often be difficult to know when it's time to go to the hospital. Childbirth Educator Kira Smith (ICCE) tells us what happens when we arrive at the hospital and how it is determined if we stay or go.
Kira Smith , ICCE

Your question
What will happen if I get to the hospital too early?

The expert answers
At most hospitals, when you arrive, you will be sent to a triage room where they determine if you are actually in labor. A nurse will check your cervix for dilation and effacement. You will also be monitored for contractions.

If it seems that you are in labor, you will be admitted to the hospital. If not, the nurse may suggest that you take a walk to try to get your labor going or she may send you home with some suggestions on how to stimulate your labor, such a shower or nipple stimulation. It is very, very hard emotionally and psychologically to get sent home from the hospital when you think this might be it. However, it is really a good thing, as Martha Stewart would say, because at home you may be able to relax more fully and choose the things that you would like to eat.

A trip to the hospital is not a waste though. It is a good dress rehearsal so you know what the routine is, how long it takes, where to park and where to go. When you are in the hospital you are less free to move around and there is less to do than at home. The longer you are there the greater the likelihood that you have more medical procedures performed.

- Kira Smith, M.Ed, ICCEPregnancyAndBaby.com

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