Labor Pains - When to Go to Hospital

Deepa Kartha Apr 19, 2019
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Women who are pregnant or are in the third trimester of pregnancy, would surely want to know about labor pains, when to go to the hospital, and many other related things once the contractions begin. This information tells you when you should go to the hospital for delivery.
As the time for delivery nears, most women go through various emotions including excitement, anxiety and sometimes fear of the impending labor pain.
The days or weeks before the actual labor begins can be a little difficult as the baby has reached its full development, making you feel tired and exhausted. Though one may be anxious about experiencing labor pains, one must also want the pregnancy to get over and hold one's baby as soon as possible.
This stage of anxiety can hamper one's judgment when it comes to recognizing actual labor pains. There are many women who rush to the hospital thinking that they are into labor, only to be told by the doctor that what they are experiencing is false labor pains, also called 'Braxton Hicks contractions'.
Hence, it is important to know about the labor pain signs and when should one go to this hospital. So, if you are thinking that you are having labor pains, when to go to the hospital will be the question that you would be thinking about. Read on to find an answer to this query.

Right Time to go to Hospital

Before we go into the signs of going into labor, it is important to know about the concept of false labor or 'Braxton Hicks contractions'. Once the pregnant woman is in her late second trimester or after she enters the third trimester, she is likely to experience abdominal cramps which are very commonly thought to be actual contractions.
However, one has to learn to recognize the false contractions to avoid making a trip to the hospital without any reason. One of the most important difference between false labor and true labor is that the former is very irregular i.e. they may just appear for a minute or two and may reappear only after an hour or so and sometimes even after a few weeks.
Moreover, these contractions are not very painful and may go away when you change your position, walk or may be drink water. On the other hand, actual labor pains are quite different from this and it is extremely crucial for the mothers-to-be to know about labor pains and when to go to the hospital in labor.

Labor Pain Symptoms

The process of childbirth can be divided into three stages, where the first stage is when the actual pain starts, the second is when the baby is born and the third is when the placenta is pushed out of the body.
As most of us know, the first stage i.e. when the contractions begin, is the longest stage of labor. During this stage, the cervix starts dilating to push the baby downwards to the vagina, for childbirth. During this time, the contractions not only restrict to the abdominal area, but also will be experienced in the lower back.
The best way of knowing whether they are actual labor pains is to see whether it stops when you change your position or drink lots of fluids. When the contractions continue to occur even after doing the mentioned activities, then, you can be sure that you have gone into labor.
When the contractions begin, they will be very short and will occur maybe ten to twenty minutes apart. During this time, you should start timing your contractions with a stopwatch. You should not only make a note of the time that the contractions last, but also as to how much time does it take for the contractions to reappear.
Once your contractions last for 30 second to one minute and take 4-5 minutes to reappear, it is time for you to call your doctor. He/she will ask you some questions and on the basis of your answers will ask you to come to the hospital.
If you are having a baby for the first time, the whole process will most probably take a long time and so, you do not have to run to the hospital as soon as the contractions begin.
On the other hand, if it is your second or third delivery, it would be better for you to rush to the hospital a little early, as the second and the third delivery usually does not take much time.
Nevertheless, this is not the same for every woman and there have been women who have completely different experiences for each delivery. Another thing that has to be kept in mind while looking for an answer to the question, when to go to the hospital in labor is the distance that it would take for you to reach the hospital from your home.
We hope this information has been helpful for you to understand the signs of true labor pains. Once you enter the third trimester of pregnancy, it is important that you pack a bag with all the essentials that you would need for you and the baby at the hospital.
Though you do not have to panic when the contractions begin to appear, if you observe things like heavy vaginal bleeding, blurred vision, no movement of the baby, etc. it is important that you call your health practitioner immediately to find the root cause of the problem. All the best!