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Are You in Labor? How To Know

Monitoring Your Contractions

If your contractions are five minutes apart, lasting 60 seconds, and you have had this activity for about an hour, you are in labor. This is when you should contact your physician or midwife.

Be prepared to tell your doctor or midwife the following information:

  • How far apart the contractions are, their length and intensity, and if you are using breathing techniques.
  • Whether or not the bag of water has broken, the time it broke, and the color of the fluid
  • If bloody show is present

When To Leave for the Hospital

You will be instructed when to leave for the hospital. If you are a first-time expectant parent and are able to manage the contractions at home, new research suggests that you should continue to stay at home until it is difficult to breathe through the contractions. However, if you live a great distance from the hospital, are concerned about not getting there on time or have other special concerns, plan on leaving sooner.