Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 4) - Going to the Hospital

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- Welcome to your First Trimester
- Welcome to your Second Trimester
- Welcome to your Third Trimester

Going to the Hospital

Do you know when you should head for the hospital? You’ll know it’s time to go when contractions are 4 to 5 minutes apart for at least an hour. They will also be increasing in intensity and length, and they’ll be coming closer together.

You may want to preregister at the hospital a few weeks before your due date. It will save time checking in when you’re actually in labor, and it may help reduce your feelings of stress. Preregister with forms you receive from your healthcare provider’s office or from the hospital. Fill out the forms early. If you wait until you’re in labor, you may be in a hurry and concerned with other things.

Have your insurance card or insurance information with you—put it on top of the things you pack in your bag, along with your preregistration paperwork. Know your blood type and Rh-factor, your healthcare provider’s name, your pediatrician’s name and your due date.

Ask your healthcare provider how you should prepare to go to the hospital; he or she may have specific instructions for you. You might want to ask the following questions.

When should I go to the hospital once I am in labor?

Should I call you before I leave for the hospital?

How can I reach you after regular office hours?

Are there any particular instructions to follow during early labor?

Going to the hospital to have a baby can make anyone a little nervous, even an experienced mom. Make some plans before you go so you’ll have less to worry about. Talk to your healthcare provider about what will happen during labor. Plan the route, and have your partner drive it a couple of times. Make alternative plans in case your partner can’t be with you. Know how to get in touch with your partner 24 hours a day. Pack your bags.

After You’re Admitted to the Hospital

After you’re admitted to the hospital, you’ll probably be settled into a labor room. You will be checked to see how much your cervix has dilated. A brief history of your pregnancy will be taken and vital signs noted, including blood pressure, pulse, temperature and your baby’s heart rate. You may receive an enema or be started on an intravenous drip; blood will probably be drawn. You may have an epidural put in place, if you request one.

Your pubic hair may be shaved, although this isn’t always necessary. Some women who choose not to have their pubic hair shaved later they say they experienced discomfort when their pubic hair became entangled in their underwear because of the normal vaginal discharge after the birth of their baby. It may be something to consider.

 
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