Warning symptoms of labour

1) Regular contractions. These are to be differentiated from the niggles of pregnancy.Basically the pains will come at regular intervals, gradually increase in intensity, frequency and duration.

2) Breaking of bag of waters. Again many mothers will have some sort of discharge throughout pregnancy. Most mothers will describe the breaking of waters as passing urine without realizing it for the first time in their lives.

3) Bloody show. This is the best way to start labor. It means you have passed the mucus plug which is at the neck of the womb acting as a door lock.

4)  decreased movements. If this happens it is ideal to contact your doctor at the earliest.

In case none of this happens and you do cross your due date, you may be induced into labor. This is left to the judgment of your obstetrician.

Items needed upon admission

For baby

• Vests or T shirt,preferably long sleeves (2 per day)

• Woolen cardigans and booties, especially in winter (2 per day)

• Baby Body Suits (2per day)

• Sufficient disposable nappies (care of the baby is done every 3-6 hours)

• 2 blankets

• 3 towels

• Toiletry kit: baby soap and body lotion

• 1 feeding bottle(plastic or glass)

• Bibs

For mother

• Nightshirts(adapted for breastfeeding)

• Dressing gown

• Nursing bra

• Several large and comfortable pants

• Several packets of sanitary towels

• Toiletry Kit

It's common for women to go to the hospital during early labor and be sent home again until they progress to active labor or until their 'water' breaks (rupture of the membranes). This phase of labor can be long and uncomfortable. Walking,watching TV, listening to music, or taking a warm shower may help you through early labor. 

If you arrive at the hospital in early labor that is dilating and effacing the cervix or is progressing quickly, you can expect some or all of the following:

In the birthing room, you will change into a hospital gown.

After you have been admitted to the hospital and you have had your initial examination, you will be: 

Encouraged to walk. Walking helps many women feel more comfortable during early labor.

Briefly monitored every hour or so (at the least) to check your contractions and the baby's heart rate. You may be monitored throughout your labor.

It is normal to feel excited, tired, and amazed all at the same time after delivery. You may feel agreat sense of calm, peace, and relief as you hold, look at, and talk to yourbaby.

In labor, it is best to leave it to natural labor. If the progress is slow as judged by the people looking after you, a drip called oxytocin may be started.This helps with increasing the frequency, intensity and duration of contractions. Your bag of waters may also be ruptured to help you deliver faster. Again the baby’s well being is judged by checking the baby’s heart rate.

Birthing Positions

You may start getting restless as you enter the first stages of labour. You can prevent yourself from feeling overly tired by knowing about different birth positions. Certain positions are more comfortable than others during the second stage of labour. Changing  positions  often during  labor  is a good idea.

Sitting in an upright position during labour may be more comfortable than lying down.Squatting may help you push more effectively.

Lying on your back in a semi-reclining position with your legs supported by stirrups is a common birthing position. While pushing, you may have to grab behind yourknees and pull up.

Lyingon your side is helpful if you are tired of lying on your back.

If for some reason you are not able to bear the pain of the contractions,you could consider epidural analgesia. This is done by a specialist, where asmall cannula is introduced just outside the spinal cord. The medicine thenhelps numb the pain. It does not cause a problem of back ache in the long runas commonly believed. There is no difference in the caesarean section rateeither. However, the number of times that the doctor may need to help you topush the baby out by applying a special instrument is increased.

These special instruments are calledvacuum extractor and forceps. They are only applied when the baby’s head isnearly coming out. They may need to be applied because the baby’s heart beatbecomes slow or the mother gets too tired pushing.

After the delivery of the baby theumbilical cord is cut. The baby is then given to the attending paediatrician.

The after births i.e. the placenta isthen delivered. Many a times to facilitate the delivery of the baby a small cutis given, this is called as an episiotomy. This is then sutured after thedelivery of the after birth.

You must start feeding as soon aspossible after the delivery. Even if it is a caesarean section you must startfeeding soon.