Updated: May 7, 2021
1. How will I know that the baby is coming and it's time to go to the hospital?
The general rule is contractions should be five minutes apart, lasting at least one minute, for one hour. I suggest that you labor at home a long as you can. It also depends on when your water breaks. My water broke first, then I started having contractions. My doctor wanted me to come in a little sooner to keep the baby safe.
2. How will I know my labor has begun?
You will know! The contractions will feel like your stomach muscles are being squeezed tightly. You can feel it in your back, pelvis and tail bone. Every woman is different. Some women describe them as strong menstrual cramps. Either way, your body will let you know it’s time.
3. What should I do if my water breaks or I notice a bloody discharge from my vagina?
Call your doctor first. But just know your body goes through so many stages before delivery. If your water breaks, you do not need to go to the hospital right away. It means get ready. Contractions are soon to follow. A bloody discharge is also called a bloody show. It is when your mucus plug is released from your cervix. It will be a little slimy and sometimes bloody. If this happens first without your water breaking or contractions, stay home. This is a good time to double check your hospital bag, prep your home for labor or make sure childcare is lined up for your other children.
4. What if I do not go into labor even after 40 weeks of pregnancy?
Depending on your body, birth plan and pregnancy advice from your doctor/midwife, you may be advised to be induced or c-section. I had my second son four days over 40 weeks. I say, if you are completely healthy and your baby is healthy give it a few more days. Your due date is a close estimate. No app or doctor can tell you exactly the day and hour when your baby will come. God has built a woman’s body with a natural baby timer. When it is time, your body will naturally begin to evict the baby from the premises. Just relax and get ready to see your baby soon.
5.What to bring to the hospital?
You need to pack for mommy, supporting partner and the baby or babies. Try not to overload yourself with too many bags. Pick one medium size bag with wheels. It will make it easier to transport your belongings from room to room and to the car.
The hospital is stocked with so many supplies that will be billed to your insurance. Toiletries, dispensable underwear, socks, diapers, wipes and gowns are all yours. Take advantage of all the “free” stuff and save your items for home.
Your supporting partner is not the patient. So, in many cases, the hospital will not be as hospitable to them. Be sure to pack snacks, comfortable shoes, pillows and covers for them as well. Although they are not giving birth, they will be tired, hungry, thirsty and uncomfortable too. You want your partner to be in good spirits on this journey with you.