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  1. #1

    When is the right time to go to hospital?

    If you are planning a hospital birth (or a birth in a birth centre) then you will have probably been thinking about when the right time is to go into hospital. You don't want to get there too early (and have the disappointing journey home when you thought the baby's arrival was imminent) or too late (stories of babies born in the car on the way to the hospital spring to mind). How will you know when is the right time to go to hospital? This can particularly be a concern for first time mums who have not experienced labour before.

    Here are some pointers which have been shared on our pregnancy, birth and beyond forum previously to help you know when the right time is to make the journey into hospital.

    • If you feel you are in labour and unsure then ring the hospital - the midwives will often be able to tell by talking to you if you are in active labour.
    • Try to breathe through the contractions and relax as much as you can at home; if you feel that you are no longer managing/coping at home then this is an indicator to go into hospital or phone your midwife.
    • Contractions should be regular and frequent and increasing in intensity.
    • Generally speaking first time mums are advised that contractions should be around 5 minutes apart before going into hospital.
    • If you have any concerns, such as vaginal bleeding or stained waters that have broken, then don't ever hesitate to go into hospital.

    You can read more about this topic in this article here: Help! How will I know when it's time to go to hospital?

    What are your experiences of when you went into hospital and how did this impact the rest of your labour?

    Personally speaking, I went into hospital before I was in active labour with my first baby and this, I feel, contributed to a long and sadly difficult birth. With my second baby I wanted to stay at home for as long as possible and was pleased to reach the hospital at 10cms dilation - although I'm glad we didn't wait at home any longer.

    I look forward to reading your replies.
    Last edited by ljmarsden; 30th June 2014 at 06:19 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    I remember calling the midwife when my contractions became 2-3 minutes apart and I had a difficult time talking through them. When I have to stop everything I'm doing to focus on the contraction I know that I'm getting close to being fully dilated.

    With my birth center birth I went in when the contractions kept coming no matter position I was in..laying down, standing up, bath, sitting on the ball. When they kept coming I knew right away it was time to go.

    Great thread...looking forward to hearing other mums stories.


  3. #3
    Thanks for sharing your experiences sunnymumof5. Yes I read on the positive birth movement website about 'you are not in labour until you are in labour'. In other words, if you can carry on what you are doing/ make those around you think you are not in labour then things are typically just getting started. However, when the intensity and frequency of the contractions causes you to stop everything and, typically, get on all fours making a more primal breathing noise then you are in labour.


  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Well put LJ, you described it exactly how it is.

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