Your doctor will give you advice about when you should go to the hospital.
Generally, you should go to the hospital if one of the following situations occurs.
- If your waters have broken (rupture of the membrane)
- If you have vaginal bleeding
- If your contractions are five minutes apart and the hospital is located less than 30 minutes away.
- If your contractions are 10 minutes apart and the hospital is located more than 30 minutes away.
- If you have lasting persistent pain.
When in doubt, call the maternity ward at the hospital.
How To Time a Contraction
- Use a watch with a second-hand and count the seconds out loud.
- Note the time when a contraction begins. Usually you can feel the top of your abdomen tighten. Note the time when the contractions ends. The abdomen softens. This is the length of the contraction.
- Note the time when the next contraction begins. The time between the end of one contraction and the beginning of the next contraction is the frequency or how far apart the contraction is.
The following diagram will help you time a contraction.
Guide to Labour and Birth
This guide will give you information on the following:
- what will happen
- how you may feel
- what you can do
- what your labour partner can do to help
This guide is printable. Bring it with you to the hospital. It might help you and your partner to keep track of your labour and to stay as confident and comfortable as possible.
Click here to access The Guide to Labour and Delivery