• Elysia Douglas

L&D 101

Wow! This journey has been one for the books. Well, the baby book, at least. 

Now, the final culminating event is upon you. 


The initial periodic cramping that began hours ago has turned into longer, consistently stronger contractions. You've reached the point where the 5-minute apart contractions have been coming for a little over an hour and that last one was a doozie. You tell your partner to call your doctor or midwife and let them know you’re on your way in. 


You get to the hospital, journey to the Labor & Delivery Ward or Hospital’s Women’s Center and then what? What happens from here?


In most hospitals, after being greeted by the receptionist, they ask for your identification (driver’s license) and insurance cards and ask if you’ve preregistered which will make finding your information a bit easier.


Presenting this info is a good job for your partner to do while you are breathing through contractions.


After the initial admission is done you will probably be taken to a small room called a triage room. After changing into a hospital gown, you will be placed on the electronic fetal monitoring device to monitor the baby’s heart rate and activity and to see how often you are contracting. Your vitals will also be taken (temperature and blood pressure) and you may be asked a series of questions about your general health, prescription medication, and last doctor’s visit. You can answer these between contractions or have your partner answer as much as possible.  


Also, while in triage, your nurse or care provider may come in and assess your progress by performing a pelvic exam. This will help them determine if you are in active labor and if they will admit you and place you in the room where you will give birth and recover before continuing your stay in the postpartum unit.


If you haven’t taken a tour of the facility you plan to give birth at, we recommend you sign up for one as soon as possible. L&D tours tend to book up quickly and if you wait too close to your estimated due date, you may not get in. Make sure you have a list of questions to ask the nurse and see if they are checked off during the tour. If you're not sure what questions you should be asking, talk it over with your care provider or your doula.


North Atlanta Concierge Doula Services offers both birth and postpartum packages to support you through your pregnancy and parenting journey. We are ready to answer any of your questions and calm any of your concerns leading up to your baby's birth. Contact us to set up your consultation today!

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