What To Expect Once You Go Into Labor: All The Key Essentials Including What Can Go Wrong

March 15, 2018

Learning that you are pregnant is likely one of the most exciting moments of your life, especially if you had been trying to conceive for any length of time. During pregnancy that excitement grows, but for many women, so does a sense of anxiousness and nerves. Let us face it, there are plenty of stories out there that do not exactly paint a positive picture of labor. Outside of the pain, it can also last a long time, not go according to the women’s birth plan or expectations, and in rare cases there can even be serious issues such as medical negligence that occur.

All you have to do is type in a simple Internet search about common fears about labour and you will be greeted by a whole list of items. Things such as not getting to the hospital in time, getting to the hospital too late to be able to receive pain medication, labor that takes a long time, having a C-section, needing to be induced, tearing and ripping, and not being able to handle the pain.

This is an awful lot for expectant mothers to try to cope with and digest, and it can add unnecessary stress which is not good for mom or baby. In order to help you prepare mentally and physically for labour and delivery, it is always a good idea to do your research, speak to your doctor, and learn what to expect during the process. It is also a good idea to discuss common issues and problems that occur and what you should do about them.

To help you out we have put together this handy guide of all you need to know about labor and delivery:

How Will You Know You Are In Labour?

Knowing when you are in labor is a big part of ensuring your labor and delivery goes smoothly. It will help you to determine when you need to leave for the hospital, allowing you to get there early enough that you can take medication for pain and the monitoring process can begin.

The problem with labor is that every woman is different, so there is no guaranteed answer as to how you will know it is time. Typically it is a process that takes place, a series of signs that occur, versus one single event that lets you know you are in labor.

Some of the tell-tale signs of early labor can include bleeding, abdominal or lower back pain, cramps, contractions that are painful and occur at regular intervals, and water breaking. Keep in mind you do not have to have all of these to be in labor. Again, each woman will be different. The only sure way to tell if you are in labour, is get to the hospital and get checked out. Unfortunately, this can lead to a couple of false alarms, but as the saying goes it is better to be safe than sorry, and eventually you will in fact be in labor.

When Should You Go To The Hospital?

Because labor presents itself in so many different ways it can leave women confused as to when they need to go to the hospital. Again, it is always better to be safe, so if you think you are in labor it is wise to contact your doctor or midwife right away and get to the hospital.

What Is A Birth Plan And How Important Is It?

During your pregnancy you may have come across the term “birth plan” and wondered what that is. This is something that women are often encouraged to write and basically is a way to communicate with nurses, doctors, and midwives who work to deliver your baby. The birth plan outlines what kind of labour you’d like and what you want to avoid.

Keep in mind that writing a birth plan doesn’t guarantee things will go to plan. Unexpected issues and complications can arise, which can end up throwing that birth plan out the window. What this means is that you can certainly write one, but you need to be flexible and realistic about it. The doctor will want to be sure that your health and the health of the baby are the top priority, regardless of what the birth plan states.

At the end of the day the birth plan usually ends up being a source of comfort for anxious mothers.

What Does It Mean if You Need to Be Induced?

As stated, labor and delivery have a funny way of bringing about unexpected events, so you need to be able to go with it and live in that moment making decisions. If your labor is not progressing and you have been in early-labour for a long amount of time it may be necessary to induce you.

In simple terms this is just a way to kick-start the process and get things moving. Other reasons to be induced include a ruptured membrane, you are past your due date, there are complications, or the baby is not thriving. There are a number of ways a woman can be induced, which your doctor or nurse will go over with you.

Pregnancy Negligence: What Is It And What To Do About It?

While you go into labor and delivery with the most positive thoughts, unfortunately from time to time things can happen and medical malpractice or medical negligence can occur. If you suspect that negligence has occurred it’s important you get in touch with the best medical negligence solicitors, such as The Medical Negligence Experts who are leading specialists in the field who work on a 100% no win no fee basis. You want to be sure that you file a medical negligence claim that protects the health of you and/or your baby that has been affected by this incident.

The problem with pregnancy negligence claims is that they can be confusing to even identify. There is a lot that happens during delivery, so it may be hard for you to tell if negligence has in fact taken place. This is why it’s so important to speak to medical negligence solicitors who are experienced in pregnancy claims and compensation. The medical negligence lawyers will be able to go over all the details of your labour and delivery and help to determine if you have a case.

Medical negligence claims in the UK can be filed up to three years after the event, but that is not recommended. Chances are if negligence has occurred you will want to speak to a lawyer while the details are fresh in your mind. Plus, it means you will be able to possibly be compensated that much faster, which can help to pay for extra care, lost wages, etc.

Medical negligence in the UK is taken very seriously, and these claims have been on the rise over the past few years now. Speaking to a lawyer will help you to determine what steps to take and what the expected outcome may be.

Gathering As Much Information As Possible And Being Prepared

Even though there is no way to completely get rid of your nerves and anxious feelings about labor and delivery, it can prove very helpful to do your research, ask questions, and be prepared mentally for what the experience may bring to you. Asking other mums what their experience was like, speaking to your doctor and speaking to your partner can also help to ease your mind.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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