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Labor: What To Expect at Hospital Arrival

Arrival at the BirthPlace

Once you arrive at the BirthPlace reception, you will be asked to present a picture ID (driver's license or other photo identification).

After you are checked in, a nurse will escort you to a room where she will check your blood pressure, temperature, obtain blood and urine samples, and place devices on your abdomen that monitor the baby's heart rate and your contractions.

The nurse, your on-call physician, or midwife will then perform a vaginal exam to evaluate the dilation and effacement of your cervix. It is best to be admitted when active labor begins, especially if you are a first-time mother.

In active labor, the contractions are less than five minutes apart, lasting 45-60 seconds and the cervix is dilated three centimeters or more.

Depending on your stage of labor, contraction pattern, how far dilated you are and fetal heart tracing, your physician or midwife may admit you to the hospital, or suggest returning home until the contractions are closer together. In the event you are in early labor and sent home, it is common to feel disappointed, maybe even embarrassed. Activities such as walking, showering, resting, drinking fluids, renting a video, or listening to music, can be very helpful in early labor.

If you are admitted and have had a positive culture for Group B Beta Strep during your pregnancy, or have any risk factors, you will receive antibiotics prior to delivery.