I leave when it's time to go to the hospital

Who I am
Marie-Ange Demory
@marie-angedemory
Author and references

Contents

  • 1 When a pregnancy ends
  • 2 How long does it take to give birth
  • 3 What are the symptoms before childbirth
  • 4 I am leaving when I have to go to the hospital
  • 5 False alarms about childbirth
  • 6 Tips on how to prepare for childbirth

It's classic: when the expected date of birth strikes or when it approaches, panic is around the corner and the mind is crowded with thoughts. Will I recognize the right contractions? Will I be able to manage the pain? What if something goes wrong? Here are some of the most common questions. But one prevails over all the others: when is the right time to go to the hospital to give birth?



When a pregnancy ends

Let's start with a couple of fundamental considerations. First of all, the 40 weeks that canonically define the time of a pregnancy are indicative: each gestation is unique, you can give birth at 37 weeks as well as reach 41 and beyond. So, don't get anxious because it is your little one who decides when to come into the world.

Second thing. Labor may not be triggered immediately at the first contractions or if the membranes rupture: put your heart in peace because it could take a long time. That's why it's important to know when to go to the hospital or if you can wait a little longer at home.

How long does it take to give birth

It would be nice to know in advance how soon you will be giving birth. The stories of friends in general are always very different from each other: there are those who take a couple of days (help!) And those who hurry up in 3-4 hours. In short, there are no rules because every birth experience is completely subjective. 


“Furthermore, the timing may be different between a woman in her first birth and one who already has children - explains midwife Giulia Lima -. In the nullipara, the prodromal phase (ie the one that passes between the first contractions and the actual active labor, ed) can last several hours, even days sometimes. On the other hand, in the multipara the labor begins earlier ".


Translation: if you are at the first pregnancy, before going to the hospital, take it easy. If, on the other hand, you are in the third or fourth child, it is better if you run away from home at the first contraction, unless you want to experience the thrill of giving birth in the car!

What are the symptoms before childbirth

In the preparatory course you will certainly have been told that there are "symptoms" that herald the onset of labor: for example, there may be contractions, sometimes gastrointestinal disturbances or mucus losses. “It is the so-called mucous plug - says the midwife -. At the end of pregnancy, the cervix softens and slowly dilates. And therefore mucus is lost ”.

However, this is not a good reason to wake up your partner in the middle of the night to flee to the obstetric emergency room.

I am leaving when I have to go to the hospital

Instead, let's see when it is appropriate to go to the hospital for childbirth.

"First of all if the contractions are regular, that is every 3 minutes - confirms Giulia Lima -, or in case of rupture of the membranes or loss of bright red blood: they could be the signal of something serious, such as a detachment of the placenta or the placenta prior. Another good reason to go to the hospital is if you have not felt fetal movements for some time ”. To be calm, it is necessary to perceive at least 10 footballs in 24 hours.


As for the breaking of the waters, stay calm: it is absolutely not certain that the birth is near. You may not even have a contraction and have to wait. Typically, if labor does not start within 48 hours, induction is carried out. To avoid the risk of infections, an antibiotic is given in the hospital if the waters break.


False alarms about childbirth

But how to recognize false alarms and thus avoid going up and down from the hospital dozens of times? For example, trying to recognize the right contractions. “Those of Braxton-Hicks, that is the preparatory ones - adds the expert -, are irregular, less painful and often not accompanied by mucous losses. An advice? Try a hot shower or bath: if the pain goes away, it's not yet time to go to the hospital ”.


Advice on how to prepare for childbirth

In short, even if the desire to hug your puppy is enormous and you can't wait, common sense must prevail over everything. “Go to the hospital calmly - underlines Lima -, do not risk running in the car because labor can be long. It's not like the movies. Before giving birth there is time and you need to be patient, without intervening ".


A suggestion though: always keep your car keys close at hand, don't forget to fill up with petrol and, every now and then, check your suitcase. You never know!

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