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Maternity Care

Labor & Delivery

When will I know I’m in labor?

The chart below will help determine if you are in labor. If you have signs of true labor, or if your water breaks, go to labor and delivery.

True LaborFalse Labor
Contractions are regular, get closer together and last 40 to 60 seconds.Contractions are irregular, do not get closer together and last 20 to 40 seconds.
Contractions continue despite movement.Contractions may stop when you walk or rest or may change with change of position.
Pain/discomfort usually felt in back and moves around to front.Pain/discomfort often felt in abdomen.
Contractions steadily increase in strength.Contractions usually are weak and do not get much stronger.
Cervix dilates.Cervix does not dilate.
Bloody show may be present.Usually no bloody show is present.

Your due date is considered 40 weeks. Anticipate delivery sometime the week of your due date. 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 this is your first pregnancy. It is important to allow your baby to fully grow and develop before we schedule a delivery.

Cesarean birth and recovery
A Cesarean birth may be planned or unplanned. Your husband, nurses, anesthesia staff and your physician will be with you in the operating room. If necessary, a group of neonatal health care providers also will be with you. Your blood pressure and heart rate/rhythm will be monitored, and a nurse will listen to your baby’s heart rate. Your baby will be delivered in a short period of time once surgery begins. Once delivered, it will take approximately 45 minutes to complete surgery. Your incision will be closed with staples or sutures. You will then be moved to the Recovery Room.

Initial recovery after Cesarean birth
The immediate recovery period is similar to the recovery period of a vaginal birth. Rest to conserve your strength. You, your baby and your support partner will remain in the Labor and Delivery Recovery Room for approximately one hour. During this time you and your baby will be monitored closely.

Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)
In certain circumstances you may consider delivering your baby vaginally. If you choose to do a VBAC, this will be a discussion with you and your provider during the course of prenatal care.

We plan to help you deliver your baby with the least amount of intervention. 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. If you don’t have an epidural, we will place local numbing medication to the episiotomy and stitch the area after delivery. The stitches dissolve over time and do not need to be removed. We provide you with medicine to keep you comfortable after delivery.

We are 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 this world.

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