Pregnancy usually lasts 9 months, or 40 weeks. Labor lasts less than 1 day. The following information can help you understand and prepare for the final few hours before your baby arrives.
The most important thing to remember when you believer labor has begun is that this is a normal process. So be alert, but don’t panic. This is simply the time you’ve been expecting and preparing for. The following instructions can help you do what’s best for you and your baby.
When contractions begin, you should start to time them from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next contraction. If, during the contractions, you become hungry, you should eat lightly. Tea and clear soups are recommended. Your stomach will not digest food well during labor, and a heavy meal can cause nausea or vomiting.
When contractions are 10 minutes apart or less and have been regular for 1 hour, you should call your doctor or midwife.
Either a gush of fluid from your vagina (with or without continuing leakage) or steady trickle of fluid that you cannot control is a sign that you water has broken. The fluid can be clear, slightly pink, or green in color. Even if contractions are not present, you should come to the hospital after calling your doctor.
If bleeding is more that just light spotting on your panties or if you have a heavy flow, you must come to the hospital at once.
Check the list below. If you experience any of these warning signs, you must call your doctor right away.
- Bleeding from the vagina
- Sudden, constant, or occasional abdominal pain
- Sudden gushing of fluid from vagina (with or without continuing leakage)
- Fainting spells or loss of consciousness
- Severe of continuing nausea or vomiting
- Continuing or sever headache
- Frequent blurring of vision or spots before your eyes.
- Pain or burning when urinating
- Chills or fever
- Baby moving less that usual
- Increased vaginal discharge
- Pelvic pressure (sudden increase)
- Back pain
- The date your baby is due
- How active your baby has been today
- The time that contractions started to occur in a regular pattern
- How far apart the contractions are
- If your bag of waters has ruptured and, if is has, at what time if happened and color of fluid.
- If you are having any vaginal bleeding or discharge
- If you plan to breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby
- The name of your pediatrician and the group or clinic with which the pediatrician is associated.
- The name of the clinic or group (if any) with which your doctor is associated.