With my first child it was very obvious when we needed to call the doctor and head to the hospital to have our baby. My water broke (more like popped) when we were sitting on the sofa watching TV. There was no mistaking that a baby was coming right away.
My second child was a bit different. I had contractions all day long (on my due date) and was insisting on brushing my teeth and going to bed even though my contractions were five minutes a part (and pretty strong). I was in denial, but my husband knew it was time to call the doctor and get to the hospital.
Because he understood the signs of labor and knew what to look for, I credit my husband for getting me to the delivery room before we had a baby at our house.
While Mom will be the one enduring the labor, it’s very important for Dad (or any partner) to understand the labor and delivery process so he can help the mama-to-be. Because I’m a living testament to the fact that sometimes moms don’t realize when they are experiencing labor, here are some tips of what to look for when mom is going into labor:
– Backache – Is Mom complaining about back pain?
– Mucous Plug – Did Mom come out of the bathroom and inform you that there was something brown or pink and mucous-y floating in the toilet?
– Contractions – Is Mom feeling stronger than usual contractions or cramps that come at regular intervals? Does she keep repeating that these feel different from the Braxton Hicks pains she had been experiencing prior? Are the contractions getting stronger and closer together?
– Water Break – Is mom leaking (or gushing) water that isn’t urine? (Not all women experience a water break – don’t let the movies fool you!)
If you suspect that Mom is in labor, call your doctor or midwife right away. Explain the symptoms or signs she is experiencing and they can confirm if it is labor and tell you what to do. And remember, make sure that hospital bag is packed a few weeks before your little one’s due date. You don’t want to be caught without one when it’s time to scurry to the hospital!
PS: Make sure you grab your Lullabelly musical belt on the way to the hospital. For me, I enjoyed listening to the playlist I created just for baby and me – it relaxed me during a stressful time, that’s for sure!