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Sent home from Hosp 4cm dilated. Is this normal???

(13 Posts)
Eaney Thu 10-Feb-05 12:59:20

My waters broke at 22.00 and I started to have eratic but strong contractions so I went into hosp to be assessed the next day. I was examined and told that I was 4cm dilated but that I should go home as my contractions were eratic and there were no beds in the labour ward. I got home about 40 mins later by which time contractions were very painful and regular. I returned to hosp - got stuck in traffic jam with an urge to push- and arrived at hosp with 15 mins to spare before baby daughter was born.

Has anyone ever experienced anything like this?

Gem13 Thu 10-Feb-05 13:02:34

With DS I arrived for a sweep and was told I was 4cm and that I was officially in labour.

I was advised not to go shopping, we were heading out for the day, but to go home and get my bags and not to hang around for too long!

I was at a birthing centre. Don't know if that makes a difference.

Doesn't sound right but not surprising. How are you doing?

kama Thu 10-Feb-05 13:06:00

Message withdrawn

pupuce Thu 10-Feb-05 13:13:51

It depends if this is your first baby or not. It is common for subsequent pregancies to be 3 or 4 cm and NOT be in established labour.

KatieinSpain Thu 10-Feb-05 13:15:28

I went home twice - both times 3 cms dilated but I was given a choice: the ante-natal ward, home or going to dinner and coming back later. I had a lovely bunch of midwives . Both times, I was told I wasn't in active labour. By my third visit I was ready to kiss the midwife who said I'd finally made established labour!

bubble99 Thu 10-Feb-05 13:42:11

Sounds like the decision to send you home was based on bed management rather than clinical needs.

pupuce Thu 10-Feb-05 13:47:57

Bubble, I think that sounds harsh.... Staying in hospital when you are NOT in active labour can be more negative !!!!

bubble99 Thu 10-Feb-05 13:58:16


Were you asked about the practicalities of your journey ie. distance- before being sent home. Seems insane that you got home and had to literally turn around and go straight back again.
Pupuce - fair point.
Was this a first baby or not? That would/should affect a clinical decision.

snafu Thu 10-Feb-05 14:07:05

But, equally, subsequent babies can often arrive quite quickly. If waters have broken and you are at 4cms it does seem strange. How long was it between leaving hospital and your daughter actually arriving, eaney?

pupuce Thu 10-Feb-05 17:46:39

Sounds like a 2nd time mum to me...

I have seen women sent home and they barely manage to make their way back... it is easy to judge from our sofas but you can get all sorts of surprises in childbirth!
You can be 4 cm and NOT be in labour !!!!

Eaney Thu 10-Feb-05 18:36:49


It was my second baby. I think it was about one and a half hours between being sent home and actually giving birth. I was asked where I lived but not how long it might take to get in. Incidentially we did pull over on the way home and phoned the labour ward to say that contractions were now very painful and coming every 3 mins. I was still told to go home as there were no beds and I would just have to wait in waiting room.

The main thing that bothers me is that I was stuck in a car sitting down with an urge to push. Could this have been dangerous i.e putting pressure on baby's head.

oatcake Thu 10-Feb-05 18:38:02

also depends how busy labour ward is...

pupuce Thu 10-Feb-05 18:56:43

If you had felt the baby come through you would have gotten off from your bottom, believe me!
Labour ward to busy is usually followed with another hospital to go too then.
As a doula we were turned away* once (because they were too full) but I insisted this was a 2nd time mum contracting very regularely, we were then taken in and SHARED a room (with curtain!!!) and my client only delivered 3 hours later.... the other mum next to her delivered sooner (they did move her to another rom when she was ready to push).

* they had asked us to go another hospital 45 mins away!

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