Hospital birth: What to expect

Visit my website to learn more about my services. There is a fairly normal standard of events for women who give birth in a hospital setting, whether public or private.

The following information can help you to understand what may happen in labour, to give you a sense of your options and lessen any surprises. When you go to hospital in labour, you can expect to:

- be asked to remove your clothes and wear a hospital gown. - To have a vaginal examination when you are admitted and at least every 4 hours thereafter. - To have your temperature, blood pressure and pulse taken regularly throughout labour - In some hospitals, continuous monitoring is used for 20-30 minutes when you arrive. In many cases, it is left on for the whole labour. - Many women will have a cannula in their arm. Some women will have antibiotics put through this cannula; others will have IV fluids. - You can expect food to be limited in labour. Some hospitals have a policy of ice chips only when in labour. - You will have one or two ID bands placed around your wrist. - If you're giving birth in a private hospital, it's fairly standard to have your waters broken in labour by the staff. - You can expect to give birth lying on your back in bed with the back rest elevated somewhat. In some hospitals, stirrups are used. - In many hospitals, pain relief is routinely offered. - You will most likely be told when and how to push. - Many women will be given an episiotomy. - You will routinely be given an injection to speed the delivery of the placenta. - Your baby's cord will be cut before it has stopped pulsating.

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