Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 1) - Choosing Where to Give Birth

- Give Up Coffee For Beautiful Breasts
- Welcome to your First Trimester
- Welcome to your Second Trimester
- Welcome to your Third Trimester

Labor and delivery is the process by which your baby is born. It may be different for a woman in her 30s or 40s than for a younger woman. Labor may be longer because the cervix may not dilate as easily as it does in a woman under 35. We also know that more older women need a Cesarean delivery.

Just as your uterus may not contract as readily during labor, it may not contract as quickly as it would for a younger woman after delivery. Postpartum bleeding may last longer and be heavier.

Your labor and delivery will be unique to you, no matter what your age. Every woman labors differently, and there is often a difference in the way a woman labors from one birth to another.

Choosing Where to Give Birth

It’s important during the second trimester to consider where you want to give birth. In some situations, you may not have a choice. Or in your area, you may have several choices.

Whatever birthing setup you choose, the most significant considerations are the health of your baby and the welfare of you both. When you decide where to have your baby, be sure you have answers to the following questions, if possible.

What facilities and staff are available?

What is the availability of anesthesia? Is an anesthesiologist available 24 hours a day?

How long does it take to respond and to perform a Cesarean delivery, if necessary? (This should be 30 minutes or less.)

Is a pediatrician available 24 hours a day for an emergency or problems?

Is the nursery staffed at all times?

In the event of an emergency or a premature baby that needs to be transported to a high-risk nursery, how is it done? By ambulance? By helicopter? How close is the nearest high-risk nursery if not at this hospital?

These may seem like a lot of questions to ask, but answers can help put your mind at ease. When it’s your baby and your health, it’s good to know emergency measures can be employed in an efficient, timely manner when necessary.

There are various hospital setups available for labor and birth. With LDRP (labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum), the room you are admitted to at the beginning of labor is the room you labor, deliver, recover and remain in for your hospital stay.

The concept of LDRP evolved because many women don’t want to be moved from the labor area to a delivery area, then to another part of the hospital after delivery for recovery. The nursery is usually close to labor/delivery and the recovery area. This lets you see your baby as often as you like and have baby in your room for longer periods.

How will I know it’s time to go to the hospital?

If you aren’t sure, don’t be afraid to call your healthcare provider or the hospital. General guidelines for going to the hospital include the following:

You believe your water has broken.

You are bleeding.

You have contractions every 5 minutes, lasting 1 minute.

Another option is the birthing room; this generally refers to delivering your baby in the same room you labor in. Even if you use a birthing room, you may be moved to another area of the hospital for recovery and the remainder of your stay.

In many places, labor-and-delivery suites are available; you labor in one room, then move to a delivery room at the time of birth. Following this, you may go to a postpartum floor, which is an area in the hospital where you will spend the remainder of your hospital stay.

Most hospitals allow you to have your baby in your room as much as you want. This is called rooming in or boarding in. Some hospitals also have a cot, couch or chair that makes into a bed in your room so your partner can stay with you after delivery. Check the availability of various facilities in the hospitals in your area.

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