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When to go to hospital/MLU?

(19 Posts)
chipsandmushypeas Thu 25-Oct-12 12:53:39

Hi everyone,

I'm 8 months pg with dc1. Feel very excited about the birth and looking forward to it. However, I'm worried about not knowing when to go to hospital. I would prefer to do most labouring at home if I can as its my 'safe place' and I've heard moving a woman in labour can throw everything off.

Do you go when you cannot 'cope' anymore? What if you wait too long? I'm just looking for experiences really! Thank you

shinyblackgrape Thu 25-Oct-12 13:39:08

Ooh yes - very interested to hear the responses to this. I'm having first DC on 24 November or that's when he's due!

DH and I are doing hypno birthing and have been given some very good tips for the transfer to the hospital and the settling in but the midwife teaching us did say there is a certain element if disruption.

We are going to hire a doula too so hoping that she will be able to give us some tips on what to do.

My worst case scenario is going to the hospital and being told I'm 1 centimetre. I think I would cry - grin

Marmiteisyummy Thu 25-Oct-12 16:35:51

Mostly you'll be recommended to wait til you're contracting 3in 10 (3 contractions within 10 mins) regularly. I was worried about this too with DS (my pfb!) I did natal hypnotherapy and that saw me through a 48 hour on and off Pre labour at home (sore but no more than bad period pains). 5 hour break then proper labour started with avengence, and you really do know, there was no mistaking it.
I only waited 2 hours before phoning the hospital and I remember saying, I know it's early but I NEED to come in now. Things were getting stronger very fast. I just knew i couldn't wait any longer. I was contracting every 1min30 lasting nearly a minute each time. Was 7cm on arrival and DS was born less than 3 hours later.
More worried about getting there in time with this one!
My advice would be to stay home until you feel like you need more support, or pain relief or contractions are fast and furious.
Good luck, it's marvellous and wonderful (if rather sore!!). Natal hypnotherapy is fantastic.

snoozed Thu 25-Oct-12 17:26:50

You're right about transferring to hospital slowing things down - I went in when was having 3 contractions in ten mins which were too strong to speak through

On arrival, the mlu was full, I was put in a waiting room on delivery suite full of people, then there was a tussle with a consultant about whether I could even go to the mlbu.. All this took me out of the nice bubble i'd been in at home. By the time I got there despite being 5cm labour had pretty much stopped, and it took a good 6 hours for things to get going again..

So not really sure how you could avoid this, perhaps check there's a space for you before going in? But you might not have that choice if things start progressing v quickly.

chipsandmushypeas Fri 26-Oct-12 08:11:26

Thanks for replies, shiny could you share some of those tips you got about transferring? smile

shinyblackgrape Fri 26-Oct-12 08:58:51

Yes - basically:

DH deal with all the transferring admin etc. he should cal in advance and explain we're doing hypnobirthing. I can listen to the affirmations while he speaks to midwives etc.

As soon as we get in to the room, turn the lights down or off. We have little electric candles and are going to use them. Also an aromatherapy diffuser thing that we are going to use in advance when doing the affirmations so the smell is associated with home/being relaxed. We also have black out blind things that can be suckered on to the window in case it's daytime - a patently the trick is to return the room to,as dark as possible.

If I really start to get agitated etc, DH will take me in to the shower or loo - ideally a shower - and just ask the midwife to leave us for a bit. We'll have a shower together and he can rub my back etc as we've been taught special massage techniques as part of the hypnobirthing. The midwife said that just having "a good old snog" or nipple stimulation etc blush can bring them back.

Just accept that the contractions may very well slow down or stop. This is perfectly normal in a first labour and not to panic. Midwife said its called the "rest and be thankful" stage so just have a sleep or something to eat. The hospital will have a timeline for labouring. However, a lot if that is fir the convenience of the hospital. (this is an NHS midwife saying this before I'm accused if midwife bashing). As long as the baby is OK, there's no need to accept any intervention - it's all perfectly normal for things to slow down.

If the hospital does start pushing for augmentation we can (a) just decide to go home or (b) DH will ask for us to be given a couple of hours to see if things re-establish themselves naturally.

DH will ask regarding any proposed treatment:

B-What are the Benefits? How will this be helpful?
R - What are the Risks? What are the advantages and disadvantages?
A - What are the Alternatives? What other approaches are there?
I - What does your Instinct tell you?
N - what if we do Nothing? Why must this be done now? What might happen if we wait?

Obviously, if at anytime the baby or I are in danger then we'll act on the advice given immediately. However, I won't accept being augmented and lying flat on my back being continuously monitored and possibly ending up with an epidural just to save the hospital the hour of time needed for labour to reestablish itself after I've come in.

This is my first DC and I feel quite anxious as I've had pretty crap prenatal care.
however, I know I can rely 100% on my DH. He's read up and researched all the various things that we can and might be offered or might happen and we've discussed what our approach will be to each. We've also agreed that he'll deal with speaking to people etc so I can just focus on the hypnobirthing. So that makes me feel a lot calmer in itself and therefore hopefully less likely to be stressed when I transfer in.

I would strongly recommend hypnobirthing if you can get on a course - its all about breaking the fear - tension - pain cycle which can really inhibit labour

We are being taught by an NHS midwife and the practical,advice she has given us,above, has been invaluable. DH started off a bit cynical (dentist so likes to see medical evidence) but he is a total convert now and intends to use some of the techniques on his patients.

The other final thing is that we are hiring a doula. Partly to give DH a break if needs be and to deal with the midwives etc if DH is doing the hypnobirthing with me as he's my hypnobirthing partner. That makes me feel calmer too. Is that an option?

aimingtobeaperfectionist Fri 26-Oct-12 09:03:18

I'd had contractions for 2 days and went to hospital when I literally couldn't stand, sit, find any position comfortable! Contractions were 3 mins apart lasting 45 seconds. I'd been wondering if I'd 'know' and I did- just as DP got changed and into bed! I just couldn't cope anymore. I was more than a little angry to find I was 1-2 cm when I got there however they let me stay as I was in agony and after two days I just couldn't cope anymore.

JoJoB77 Fri 26-Oct-12 09:18:28

I had pre labour pains for a day before and they were cope-able, but once proper labour kicked in i stayed at home until i could bear it no more. Like someone said upthread (cant remember name sorry blush) you just know. I felt like i had to go to get checked, start pain relief smile

mycatlikestwiglets Fri 26-Oct-12 09:41:52

I had contractions for about 20 hours before I first went into hospital to get checked as they were by then about every 2-3 minutes. With hindsight I should have waited longer as I was coping well at home with a tens machine - and it turned out I was only 1 cm so went back home. I went back to hospital about 4 hours later as I had got to the point where I was in incredible agony and couldn't cope any more. That was definitely the right choice, even though it turned out I was still only 2cm. I was having continuous contractions and in so much pain I thought I was dying. Thankfully they kept me in and gave me an epidural. It was another 26 hours before DS finally arrived though (he was back to back which probably explains the pain).

It's a bit twee to say it but I think you really will know when you need to go to hospital - you'll either need pain relief or just feel that you can't cope at home any more.

cordiality Fri 26-Oct-12 10:23:33

Also, worth bearing in mind that not all first labours involve many hours of slow contractions at home etc. I don't think it's a bad idea to be aware that things might move very fast.

My first labour I had my first twinge at 9pm, decided I was definitely having contractions at 10pm, started timing them and put on the tens. By just before midnight they were lasting a minute with a minute between them, which is when the hospital had advised to go in.

At that point my waters broke and we went straight in, dd was born at 3am. It's worth mentioning that when I arrived at the labour ward I was only 2cm, they never tried to send me home as I was clearly having rapid contractions. I dilated 8cm in 2 hours, on my back as I had to be monitored as there was meconium in my waters.

Not ideal in terms of calm quiet birthing but I look back on that labour as being manic but brilliant and feel very lucky. It's all so unpredictable and sometimes best laid plans are just that.

FYI I have ditched the birth plan this time, just gonna go with the flow. My carefully printed two sides of A4 weren't even referred to last time, thank goodness!!!

shinyblackgrape Fri 26-Oct-12 10:30:41

cordiality - that woukd be my dream birth! I'd gladly swap my carefully selected candles for speed!

cordiality Fri 26-Oct-12 10:42:58

Ha Shiny, looking back it does sound good doesn't it! Though at the time I'm not sure I thought that. Am currently 40+5 with the next one, I wonder what delights this will bring!

shinyblackgrape Fri 26-Oct-12 10:45:50

I'm half expecting a post from you in 2 hours time saying you've given birth! grin

Send me some of your Speedy Gonzalez vibes when you're done with them!

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 18:38:31

'My worst case scenario is going to the hospital and being told I'm 1 centimetre. I think I would cry -'

So don't let them do an internal!?

shinyblackgrape Fri 26-Oct-12 20:10:35

starlight - I was wondering re the internals as I know they're not compulsory. However, I don't know if nosiness will get too much and I'll want to know!

If you were having your first again so didn't have a clue what was happening woukd you just wait and see?

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Oct-12 20:22:13



They tell you nothing useful. Some people take 4 days to get to 5cm and then 1 hour to get to 10. They give no clue as to how you are doing or how long you have to go.

If you're finding it difficult to cope and hear you are 1cm you're likely to give up and feel overwhelmed but for all you know your body just likes to stay there for a bit before spinting in 45mins to 10.

If you subsequebtly request an epidural, lie on your back a a result and stop using gravity to help it could well take a lot longer meaning you're given a drip, refused food/energy in case of c/s and subsequently have a poorly positioned baby that requires forceps.

sounds a bit dramatic but is a potential outcome of taking cm dilated too seriously.

shinyblackgrape Fri 26-Oct-12 20:40:43

starlight - that is basically exactly what happened to my sister. However, add in a junior doctor allowing the baby to descend too low so he had to be hauled out by a consultant using forceps as it was too dangerous for her to have a section as apparently they can't or won't pull the baby back up. They gave her a GA on the basis that the it was better to knock her out, she was ripped to bits and her husband is still totally traumatised two years on.

Normally I am the most compliant person ever and would just naturally do what a doctor or midwife told me. However, this has totally changed my perception coupled with some pretty crap antenatal care. The hypnobirthing has been amazing for relaxing me but also the teacher saying that I don't have to dogmas I'm told, I have options and I'm entirely within my rights to question what is being done and why. - I.e. - its not mandatory to lie on a bed for monitoring etc.

Sorry - that was totally divergent but my point is that previously I would have just accepted an internal exam. So your input is really, really helpful re why there isn't an absolute necessity to do that. Thank you.

pettyprudence Fri 26-Oct-12 21:05:44

I did hypnobirthing too - its great. During contractions, every 1.5 mins I had a nap listening to the cd!

I had a homebirth as I really didn't want to go to hospital and have labour stall. When I called the MLU I was still able to talk and move around easily. My community MW just happened to be around the corner so popped in rather than phoning me to see how I was. Good job she did because I was a good 6cm and my husband was the other side of the country.

I had thought I was going to decline examination but I was too nosy. In my mind I thought if she tells me I'm only 1cm then bugger this homebirth malarky I'm off to hospital for a big fat epidura grin

My mw kept me active and I had approx 9-14 hour birth. Im not really sure when it started (hence sending dh to a meeting across the country) and I wrongly assumed that labour would take aaagggges. I had some back ache about 4am-ish, like period pains and then from 6am, it turns out I was contracting every 2.5 mins. I was using an online counter and just assumed I was doing it wrong because my book (what to expect when your expecting) said that labour would start with infrequent contractions 10-15 mins apart. I'm quite embarrassed now that I was so clueless about labour blush. DS arrived at 3.22pm but it feels like the time flew by (like when you're having fun hmm [gin])

ginmakesitallok Fri 26-Oct-12 21:10:12

Both times I went into hospital when I thought I was in well established labour (well with DD2 I was asked to go in as my waters had broken). Both times I was told to go home. Both times I went home for about an hour and then went back in. Both times I had DDs within 1 and a half hours of going back in.

Go in when you feel like it - can do no harm. Worst thing that can happen is you get sent home.

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