A birth is always an exciting time in your life, even if it is not the first time for both the woman and her partner. It is therefore important that you know exactly when you have to call us when the birth has actually began. We will extensively discuss this with you around 34 weeks pregnancy during a consultation. It is always handy if your partner comes along with this appointment.
The description below is only applicable from 37 weeks of pregnancy, if childbirth begins before 37 weeks you should always call us immediately.
If you are going to give birth to your first child
Often it will begin with childbirth contractions. The contractions will begin slowly at first and gradually get stronger and more frequent. It is sometimes hard to say if it really has started. If the delivery is actually started, the contractions will be regular and will increase in force. You can always take a shower, if the contractions decrease then it probably were pre-contractions, if the contractions are getting stronger it has probably really started. If you experience contractions for 2 hours; a contraction every 5 minutes and it holds one minute you can call us. After your phone call we will get to your home to see how much dilatation you have.
If you are going to give birth and it’s not your first baby
Often you have more problems for regular contractions if it’s the first pregnancy. The contractions can also irregularly come and go. Listen to your body, you often feel if it really has started.
If you have contractions like you have the idea that they are powerful (you’ll recognize them from the previous birth) and the contractions come about every 7 minutes and hold for 1 minute, call us.
It is possible the membranes rupture without any pre-contractions. It is important to look carefully at the color of the amniotic fluid. With brown, yellow or green amniotic fluid, it is important to call immediately, even at night. It means that the baby has defecated in the amniotic fluid. From that point we would like to keep track of the baby’s condition more closely. We as obstetricians don’t have the means for that. Hence we will call the gynaecologist at such time which will accompany us during birth. If the amniotic fluid is just bright in color and it is at night, you can just go to sleep peacefully, you do not need to call. The next morning you call us between 9:00 and 9:30 am and tell us that your ‘water’ (membranes) broke. If it happens during the day you can call us directly. Always try to catch some amniotic fluid in a glass or white napkin so we can inspect the color.
If you have contractions, it is possible that you have some slimy blood loss. That is normal. It’s part of the process and does not predict when labor begins. In such case you do not have to call. It is important to call immediately if you have more than bright red blood loss, such as from a menstrual period.
Of course you can always call if you don’t remember it, if you are worried or you’re in panic. Give us a call, we will be happy to assist you and if necessary we will come by. If you want to give birth in the hospital, we may decide to first come at home or to go directly to the hospital.