When nearing the time of delivery, it is very important to know when to go to the hospital. The following is a discussion of the signs and symptoms to watch for.
# Pregnant for the first time (primipara) Childbirth begins when regular contractions are 5-10 minutes apart. Do not rush; get ready calmly. If the contractions are further apart but strong, the mother should be hospitalized immediately.
# Pregnant for at least the second time (multipara) Go right to the hospital if there are continuous contractions and pain. Second-time or previous mothers are more likely to suddenly go into labor.
# There is no need to go to the hospital because of a little secretion and blood. Labor can begin a few hours or a few days after secretion depending on the person. If there is heavy bleeding, or bleeding accompanied by pain, then the mother should be hospitalized as a precaution.
# Prepare immediately for the hospital once there is any secretion, and go to the hospital when there is pain. Unlike first-time pregnant women, multiparas are prone to speedier deliveries. When the uterus is opened enough, there is a possibility of an emergency delivery after a few strong contractions. Even if the contractions are not strong, it is safer to go to the hospital.
Amniotic membrane rupture
# When a woman's "water breaks," the membrane that surrounds the fetus and contains the amniotic fluid ruptures. Normally followed by labor pains, this signals the beginning of labor.
# If the baby is not delivered within 24 hours after the membranes rupture, the chance of infection becomes high. Also, with less fluid, the umbilical cord may be pressed or exposed. A pressed or exposed cord could be dangerous, and the mother should go to the hospital immediately.