It can be difficult to know exactly when you are in labor, especially if this is your first pregnancy. If you are unsure if labor is beginning, please do not hesitate to call.
Braxton Hicks contractions are irregular and erratic contractions that do not become more frequent over time and do not become longer or more intense. They are usually self-limiting and less than 2 hours.
True Labor contractions come in regular intervals, become closer together over time, become stronger and more painful over time, and they do not stop when changing position or resting.
Call if you have:
- Regular painful uterine contractions occurring approximately every five minutes for more than an hour.
- if you live more than 30 minutes from the hospital, call if your contractions are every 10 minutes for more than 1 hour, if you have a history of fast labor or if you are more than 3 cm dilated at your last visit.
- Rupture of membranes
- Decreased fetal movement
- Vaginal bleeding more than spotting or blood streaked mucous
- You do not need to contact us if you have lost your mucous plug and are not having irregular contractions or other signs of labor.
Your due date is considered 40 weeks. We recommend additional testing for your baby after 40 weeks. Induction is a process where we give medication to stimulate contractions. It can take more than 24 hours to work and can increase cesarean delivery, especially if it?s your first. It is important to allow our baby to fully grow and develop before we schedule a delivery. We will schedule an induction earlier if there is a medical reason.
Cesarean Birth and Recovery
A Cesarean birth may be planned or unplanned. If it is not an emergency, you will be taken to the operating room and nurses, anesthesia staff, nurses for your baby, and your physician will be with you. We will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, your baby?s heart rate and make sure that you are comfortable with either an epidural or spinal. Once everything is ready your spouse or person of your choice will be able to come into the operating room. This is always limited to only 1 person for safety reasons. Your baby will be delivered in a short period of time once your surgery begins. If everything is well, the baby will be able to stay in the operating room with you and your support person. Once delivered, it will take approximately 45-60 minutes to complete surgery. If the Cesarean is an emergency, you may need to go completely to sleep and your support person will not be allowed in the operating room. Occasionally the baby needs to be taken to the nursery for observation while your surgery is being completed.
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)
If you have had a Cesarean delivery in a previous pregnancy and are now preparing for the birth of another child, you may consider delivering your baby vaginally. VBAC is recommended for those who are a candidate. You will need to discuss this with us.
We plan to help you deliver your baby with the least amount of trauma. Episiotomies are not routinely needed and many deliver without the need for any stitches. Sometimes we need to make a small incision at the vaginal opening to help deliver. We make sure you are numb if you don?t have an epidural, and will stitch the area after delivery.. The stitches dissolve over time and do not need to be removed. We provide you with medication to keep you comfortable after delivery.
We are highly skilled in the use of vacuum and forceps for deliveries. We will recommend using them only if medically indicated. Our goal is to deliver your baby in the safest manner. There are definitely times when this is the safest way to help your baby into the world