Labor and Delivery
When to come to the Hospital
After 36 weeks we would not try and stop any labor, even though it is still a little early. With this in mind, if you start contracting you can say home, get in your own shower or bathtub, until the contractions are coming every 2-4 minutes consistently and getting stronger and harder. If you have a history of fast labors or if you are group B strep positive, you will want to come in on the earlier side as each labor tends to get a little shorter.
Many women will lose their mucous plug, which is sign of dilation but not of labor. You may not go into labor for several days to weeks after losing your plug. You may have a little bit of spotting with the mucous and that is okay as long as your baby is still active as discussed earlier. If your water breaks-which is a gush of fluid with continued leaking-you need to come into the hospital for monitoring regardless of how much you are contracting. If you have questions about what to do, feel free to call the office or call Labor and Delivery at 295-8276. Don't forget to pack your suitcase before the big day. Remember to charge your camera and stock up on batteries.
There are many reasons to induce your labor and if you have any medical problems this process will be explained to you. We do not feel it is safe to continue your pregnancy after 41 weeks and will suggest induction at this point. Many of you will want to have an elective induction in order to plan your delivery (child care, work, etc). We have no problem with this but there are some guidelines we follow to assure the safety of you and your baby. First, you need to be at least 39 weeks (1 week from your due date). Second your cervix needs to be "favorable." This means that you must be dilated to 2-3 cm, effaced or thinned out 60-70%, the cervix needs to be soft and easy to reach and the baby's head needs to be low in the pelvis. If this is not the case, labor may be hard to induce, increasing your risk of c-section and certainly a much longer labor. Lastly, we have to schedule this with Labor and Delivery and therefore we may have to work with their schedule and other inductions on the day desired. There is a lot of research and literature that these recommendations are based on; they are really made for the safety of you and your baby. If you feel like you have special circumstances, please bring them up and we'll see what we can do to meet your needs safely.