What happens when I get to the hospital?
When you arrive at the hospital in order to give birth, you’ll be looked after by doctors who deliver babies virtually every day. They understand that giving birth is an extremely powerful physical and emotional experience, and they’re there to support you and your family through it. Whatever you might need or whatever you might want to know, don’t be afraid to ask.
Checks and tests
When you first arrive at the hospital, you will probably be taken into a room for mums-to-be who’ve just arrived, so you can be assessed. A doctor will take you through a series of checks and tests. It may be your own doctor or it may not- it all depends on the arrangement you have agreed on with your healthcare professional beforehand. Throughout this process, your baby will be monitored in order to ensure they are in the best health. Your doctor will have all the details on your pregnancy recorded, so if you have any questions, do not hesitate to learn more.
Your doctor will be looking to check:
- What’s already happened in your labour, such as whether your water has broken and whether your contractions have began
- Your blood pressure, pulse, temperature, and urine
- Your tummy and, with your permission, they will carry out an internal examination to find out how dilated your cervix is
The next steps
If you’re in early labour it may be better to go home again and wait for the contractions to get stronger. If you’re very close to the due date, you may be given a bed on the early labour ward and move into a delivery room as your labour progresses. If you’re in full labour, you’ll be taken straight to a delivery room.
You’ll still be able to tell the doctor about your birth plan but make sure you have it in hand and that your partner is well-informed about your choices too, because things may be moving more quickly at this stage.