What to Expect: Labor and Delivery with the Women’s Wellness Center

At the Women’s Wellness Center, our doctors are specialists who have been delivering babies for years. They know all of the aspects of childbirth and have helped women from all walks of life through the labor and delivery process many times. What’s more, because our doctors and clinical staff are all women, we know that labor and delivery can be a little intimidating. We take the time to make sure that your childbirth experience is as comfortable and rewarding as possible.

We’re here to help you prepare

Giving you the personal care you need to help you get comfortable starts with a series of prenatal care visits at our office. During the first six months of pregnancy, you’ll visit us about once a month. After that, your visits will be more frequent. Right before the baby is born, we’ll see you every week.

Is it really time?

It’s not always easy to know when the baby is coming. It makes sense to go to the hospital when any of the following things happen:

  • Contractions become more frequent, last longer and are more intense
  • Your water breaks or membranes rupture
  • You need to wear a pad because of vaginal bleeding
  • Pain increases or changes, especially when you have a lot of abdominal pain

Some of these symptoms can also happen in cases of early, or pre-term, labor. Other symptoms of early labor include:

  • Leaking fluid or bleeding from your vagina
  • The sensation that the baby is pushing down
  • A backache that is different from the usual backache of pregnancy
  • Cramps that feel like menstrual cramps

If you go to the hospital for any of the above reasons, please go directly to the Emergency Department.

What to expect when you arrive

When you get settled, a nurse will place a fetal monitor on your belly to check baby’s heart rate and measure your contractions. You may also be tested to see if amniotic fluid is present. There will be a cervical check, too, to see if you’ve dilated.

What happens after admission

If you’re admitted, you’ll be assigned a labor and delivery nurse who will stay with you as you go through labor. You may get medication to manage pain (that’s a choice you can make with your doctor). As your contractions increase, nurses will put monitors on you periodically to check on baby’s heart rate and your contractions, or a nurse may keep the monitors on your belly while you’re in bed.

You may also see your doctor at this point. Remember, you could be in labor for hours, so the nurse will be with you more than the doctor will.

After a while, the contractions will become intense and increasingly close together. Then you’ll have an urge to push. You shouldn’t push yet — but it’s almost time, and you should make sure the nurse or your doctor is close by. Always follow the instructions from your doctor or nurse. They will tell you when to push and how much. They’ll also help guide your baby out into the world. Then — you’re a mom!

If you have questions about any aspect of pregnancy, or if you’d like other information on prenatal care or labor and delivery, just give us a call at 605-554-1020. You can also call that number to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. Or request an appointment using our convenient online form.