What Will Happen During Your Stay
You made it to the hospital with everything and those contractions are kicking in. What next?
- A monitor will be placed on your stomach to check your baby’s heart rate and your contractions.
- A vaginal exam will be done to see if you are dilated and check if your water has broken.
- An ultrasound may be done to check the position of your baby or to check how much fluid is around your baby.
- If you are in early labor, the nurses may have you walk the halls for an hour or more; and then recheck your cervix.
At this time we can make further decisions about your care. You may continue to stay or be discharged home until a more active labor is established.
Staff will provide intermittent auscultation (IA) for low risk patients in labor. This means you do not have to be attached to a fetal monitor continuously and the nurse would check the baby’s heart rate at various intervals with a doppler tool, based on your stage of labor. This allows freedom of movement during labor. Other fetal monitoring options, for patients in labor who are not low risk, may include interrupted fetal monitoring. This means you would be attached to the fetal monitors for approximately 10-20 minutes every hour and have freedom of movement for the rest of the hour. Each patient is assigned a Labor Nurse who is present during labor and birth and may encourage activities and positions that will be beneficial to the progress of labor.
- Labor Balls
- Labor peanuts
- Rocking chairs
- Squatting bars
- Mirrors and other tools
- Birthing stool
Labor Nurses provide support with their presence, and training for your designated partner/coach on how to assist you in labor. Other techniques used by Labor Nurses include proper positioning, touch, application of heat and cold therapies, and encouraging fluid intake. Labor Nurses are also advocates for laboring patients and will communicate patient’s wishes to other healthcare providers and offer information about progress of labor, coping methods and relaxation techniques. All labor rooms have a shower stall and a tub can be set up for those that request it. Warm water immersion in a tub, during the first stage of labor, is one method that promotes relaxation and labor pain management. Water immersion during the first stage of labor has the potential to decrease labor pain and anesthesia use, as well as shorten the duration of labor.