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Labour, cervical dilation and when you should go to hospital?

(11 Posts)
nashandra Thu 24-Sep-15 18:52:59

I understand that during labour, the more dilated the cervix becomes, the closer a woman is to delivery. I wanted to ask, are there any guidelines on how dilated she should be before going to the hospital? From watching labour scenes on tv and in films, I thought you are supposed to get to hospital or call an ambulance as soon as labour starts. Is that not the standard practice?

LibrariesGaveUsP0wer Thu 24-Sep-15 18:55:36

You can't tell dilation yourself!

You are normally advised to go in when your contractions are 3 in 10 minutes and they will normally want to check you out if your waters go

You don't call an ambulance to take you.

Fugghetaboutit Thu 24-Sep-15 18:56:19

I started contractions at 6pm and didn't go in until 2am.

They like you to call them before so they can hear you. Apparently from that they can tell if you need to come in. They could tell I was quite dilated from how I was talking during contractions. I was 6cm when I got there.

Fugghetaboutit Thu 24-Sep-15 18:56:53

My contractions were every 2 mins from the start but got more painful.

ImperialBlether Thu 24-Sep-15 18:57:21

Are you pregnant, OP? Don't they tell you all about when to go to hospital at the ante-natal classes?

Wolfiefan Thu 24-Sep-15 18:57:53

Labour scenes are nothing like the real thing!
I stayed at home with my first until I wanted pain relief.

Kraggle Thu 24-Sep-15 18:58:52

Do not call an ambulance unless it's an emergency. I went in to hospital when I couldn't cope anymore and was 6cm dilated when I arrived and fully dilated an hour later.

It's really not like on the telly, waters go in a big splash and you're in full blown baby coming now panic.

I think hospitals tend to send you home if you're under 4cm dilated don't they? I think 4cm is then classed as proper labour.

Dixiechick17 Thu 24-Sep-15 22:35:09

I was told to go in when my contractions were 2-3 mins apart, they were 2-3 straight away, they didn't really believe me on the phone and said if I went down it was likely I would be sent home again. I wasn't sent home and my DD arrived just over three hours after arriving on the birthing unit. I went with my instinct.

imwithspud Thu 24-Sep-15 22:40:53

I went when I just wasn't coping anymore. Got dp to ring the ward but they wanted to speak to me, the lady could tell I was in obvious pain and told us to go in. I was 5cm when they checked me and in hindsight, it was blindingly obvious I was in proper labour. But at the time, because labour tends to come on gradually it's difficult to know if it's the real thing or not. At least in my experience.

It's definitely not like they portray on TV, not for everyone anyway.

WantToGoingTo Fri 25-Sep-15 17:24:52

Usually 4cm dilated is when ou are in established labour and should go to hospital but you will not know this until you are examined. I was advised to call when contractions were 3 in 10 minutes but in reality my contractions were 2 in 10 minutes and I was 5cm by that point! A good indicato is if you can't talk through a contraction and have to focus to get through it then call the midwife (don't call an ambulance unless emergency!)

Tfoot75 Fri 25-Sep-15 17:34:48

4cm is established labour, less than that is early labour. I had contractions for around 6 hours before going in and had phoned the unit a few times as contractions were about 3-4 mins apart from early on. Went in due to vomiting and shaking and generally feeling bad, wasn't examined for about 3 hours as small MLU and two other women giving birth, and when examined was only 4cm. Progressed very quickly once I was allowed in the pool though and DD arrived 3 hours later.

Didn't even notice waters breaking really, so nothing like on TV, and when the contractions started I didn't really know if they would just tail off again so certainly no ambulance moments or sudden onset!

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