What can I expect when I arrive to the hospital in labor?

Dr. Judith Burichin explains what can be expected upon arrival at the hospital. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

What can I expect when I arrive to the hospital in labor?

Sometimes labor starts off very smoothly and it’s just a little bit of discomfort. The patient comes in and they are already well into labor. Other times they’ve been here several times because they’ve had various false starts in the labor process and they may be a little frustrated. I think fear is a big, huge factor because these are young women who probably for the first time are in the health care system. Having the nursing staff that we have and the physicians I work with make it a very much more reasonable and understandable experience. There’s an initial evaluation that they can count on and that initial evaluation involves a physical exam and an evaluation of their baby so we’re placing them on monitor equipment so we can get a good set of vital signs. Then there’s a long questionnaire the nurses conduct that’s very helpful in terms of the consequences for the rest of the hospitalization. We need to know about their health history and review with them the course of the pregnancy and whether they’ve had any particular concerns during the pregnancy which has not shown up on their prenatal record. Once that evaluation is finished and if they are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the labor, we get them medicated or we offer epidurals for conduct during labor as long as mom and baby are stable enough to proceed with that.

 

When labor pains begin, your doctor will tell you when you should go to the hospital, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s HealthOff Site Icon. Once at the hospital or birthing center, your healthcare providers will monitor your progress by checking your cervix and the baby’s position, according to HHS.

Your doctor may want to monitor your progress with an electronic fetal monitor, and will suggest ways to help manage your pain, according to the American American Academy of Family PhysiciansOff Site Icon.

For more information about what to expect when you arrive at the hospital in labor, talk to your doctor.

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