Your contractions may become too strong to remain at home, you have been contracting for 1 hour, every 4 minutes with each contraction lasting about 1 minute. Your Water breaks! Lots of things can happen. At the end of the day, you’ll likely be wondering:
When Should I Go to Hospital In Labour?
This is a common question from many new moms so we thought we would share some general information about when to go to the hospital in labour!
To begin with, ask your provider. Every hospital has different guidelines and we don’t want to be leading you astray with the information we provide. (The below guidelines are not for ANY complications. For the purpose of this post, we’re talking about normal labour and how to decipher whether you are in or close to active labour, there are lots of other reasons you need to go to the hospital, not listed here.)
Most healthcare providers in labour and delivery will say to come in “once active labour has started“, but what does that look like exactly?
When should you go to the hospital with contractions?
The 4-1-1 rule and the 5-1-1 rule.
Traditionally the 5-1-1 rule is used; that is, when contractions come every 5 minutes, each lasting a full minute, and have been that way for an hour. More recent recommendations are 4-1-1 (four minutes apart) or even 3-1-1 (three minutes apart). However, listen to your body and trust your instincts.
Labour contractions 4-1-1 or 5-1-1 Rule
4 (or 5): Contractions every 4 minutes.
1 Contraction lasting 1 minute.
1 This pattern continues for 1 hour.
If your contractions become unbearably painful at any time you might be in active labour and should go get checked out.
This one is vaguer because everyone will experience pain a little differently! But if you’ve been in early labour for a while and all of a sudden things get really intense? Well, then it’s time to head in!
Lastly, if your water breaks during early labour at home you should go get checked out! If you are NOT in active labour and your water breaks, remember you can refuse that vaginal exam!
Vaginal exams with ruptured membranes increase your risk for infection and if you’re not contracting you’re likely not dilating, so there’s no need for that vaginal exam. Remember, everything is optional, informed consent is the name of the game 😊
When did you go into the hospital or birth centre? Did they send you home or admit you?