If this is your first pregnancy, you might assume that it’s easy to tell when you’re going into labor. But reality can be quite different, as you’ll learn when you watch this featured video. For starters, most women don’t experience a gushing torrent of fluid that indicates the amniotic sac has broken. For some women, it may only be a little trickle of fluid. Or, the amniotic sac might not break until the new mom is already in labor at the hospital. Labor and delivery can be confusing, but there’s no need to worry. When you work with the maternity care specialists at West Hills Hospital, you’ll get all the information and support you need as your big day approaches.
Prepare for rupturing membranes
It’s always possible that you’ll be in the small percentage of women who do experience a dramatic membrane rupture. As you get closer to your due date, you can prepare by keeping a stash of super-absorbent feminine hygiene pads close at hand. Because babies follow their own schedule, you may also wish to use a plastic mattress cover.
Call your maternity doctor
Call the maternity hospital right away if you notice leaking amniotic fluid . Make a note of the color of the fluid, which should usually be clear.
If the fluid looks brown or green, it’s possible that your baby had a bowel movement. Your doctor will want to monitor the situation carefully, as aspiration is possible.
You should also call your doctor promptly if you notice any of the following:
- Reduced fetal movement
- Vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal cramps
- Change in vaginal discharge color
- Pain or pressure in the rectal or pelvic area
Time your contractions
Expect your maternity doctor to ask you about the timing of your contractions. It’s best to have your partner handle the stopwatch, as you’ll be busy focusing on your breathing.
Your partner should time the contractions beginning at the start of one contraction up to the start of the next contraction. This is the frequency of the contractions. Your partner should also time the duration of each contraction.
Writing down this information is the easiest way to keep track of it. Your maternity doctor will ask you for this information when determining whether it’s time for you to come in to the hospital.
West Hills Hospital is the maternity hospital of choice for expecting parents in the West Hills community. You’ll find family-centered, compassionate maternity care at New Beginnings Maternal and Newborn Care, including extensive postpartum support services. You can reach a registered nurse by calling (818) 676-4321.