How do I know if it’s the real thing?
True labor is painful. The contractions become stronger and closer together and hurt more as time goes by. Often you will have mucousy or bloody vaginal discharge and may have loose bowel movements. You will feel pain in your back or lower abdomen.
False labor is generally not very painful though it is not always easy to tell. You may feel contractions, cramps or uterine tightening somewhere between every 3-30 minutes but they will not continue to get stronger over time. Often you can make them go away by lying down, drinking lots of water or walking around. You won’t have any bloody or mucousy discharge or loose bowel movements with false labor. These types of contractions are very common in the last month of pregnancy especially if you have had a baby before or are very thin. They are also common if you have been active on your feet for several hours and after intercourse.
When should I call?
- When contractions are very strong and every 3-5 minutes.
- If you have a gush of water or think you might be leaking fluid.
- (tip; you can use baby diapers as pads if leaking lots of water; they catch more)
- If you are bleeding heavily (a small amount is usually normal).
- If your baby is not moving at least every 1-2 hours.
- If you are worried about something.
- When you are ready to go to the hospital.
Who do I call?
During office hours, Monday through Friday, between 8am and 5pm, call the office at 425-899-4455. Ask to speak to your provider’s nurse or the triage nurse.
After hours, and on weekends and holidays, please call our office number 425-899-4455 to get our answering service. A message can be relayed to the physician on call for our group and they will call you back.
Can I eat in labor?
It is good to eat lightly at home before coming to the hospital. Eat foods like crackers, popsicles, soup, and fruit. Avoid foods that are more difficult to digest like meat, lots of dairy products and high fat foods. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water and other fluids to prevent dehydration. Do not eat or drink if you know a Cesarean birth is planned.
Who will deliver my baby?
One of our doctors: Dr. Sheemain Asaria, Dr. Michele Delorit, Dr. Amanda Dise, Dr. Guoli Johnston, Dr. Amy Tu, Dr. Karen Wells, or Dr. Bonnie Gong will deliver your baby. Each of them works a 24-hour call shift, from 7am one day until 7am the next day.
When do I go to the hospital?
If it is your first baby or first time delivering vaginally, try to stay home until your contractions are very intense and coming every 2-3 minutes or when directed by your provider or nurse over the phone. If you live more than 30 minutes away, you may want to come when your contractions are every 3-4 minutes. During business hours please call our office first, if it is after hours and you can't reach our on call Doctor please Call hospital before coming in! 425-899-3501
If it is not your first baby, come in when your contractions are painful and you feel it is the right time. Generally, contractions should be every 3-5 minutes but sometimes it is hard to figure out if it is real or false labor. Please call if you are unsure and don’t forget to: Call the hospital before coming in! 425-899-3501.
What if my Group B Strep culture was positive?
If the GBS culture was positive, you will need to get to the hospital at least 5 hours before delivery so you can get antibiotics. Ask one the office or hospital nurses for advice on when to come in if you need it.
What can I do to help with the discomfort at home?
Try to nap if you can in the beginning - most couples are very tired after birth if they haven’t slept. Once you can’t sleep anymore, try to pace around the house; get last minute projects done like laundry, packing, and errands.
When strong contractions come, stand and place hands on kitchen counter top or dresser and lean over, feet apart and sway your hips. This helps the baby come quicker and reduces pain. Sitting (even sitting on a birth ball) tends to slow things down.
Kneeling position is also very good especially if your back is hurting. Back massages and hip squeezes help a great deal. Lying on your side is also a good position.
Showers and tub baths are safe for you and the baby at any time. However, once you are in very active labor, tubs are a great form of pain relief without slowing down labor.
Where do I go when coming in for labor?
EvergreenHealth hospital's address is 12040 NE 128th St, Kirkland. Follow the directions to the Central Entrance off of NE 130th and park at first door you come to on the right side of your car. Between the hours of midnight and 5am, these doors are locked but you can gain entry by lifting the phone near the door which will automatically ring at the nurse’s desk. The staff will see you in a security camera and will open the door. Walk ahead about 50 feet and the entrance to the Family Maternity Center is on your right. During the day and evening hours, you will be greeted at door by an admissions person who will have you sign admitting papers at the desk. You will need to move your car to the parking garage shortly after admission.
What will happen when I get to the hospital?
In many cases, you will first stop at the triage room to confirm if it is time to admit you. The nurse will do a brief assessment and then call your provider (or the provider on call) with her evaluation. In some cases, you will be escorted immediately to a birthing room. Before all admissions, the mother will be asked to sign four forms for HIPPA privacy act and consent for treatment.
You will need to show your insurance card at this time.
Once you are settled in your room in a comfortable position, your vital signs will be checked, an external fetal monitor will be applied, your cervix will usually be examined, and a series of admission questions will be asked.
Three more forms need to be signed, this time by either the mother or the father.
- Hepatitis B vaccinations are recommended for all children before entering school. The hospital pediatricians request that the first one is given after birth with the other two be given in the next six months. You may decide to defer this until later. Your consent or refusal will be requested.
- A Metabolic Screening test (“PKU” blood test) will be done on your baby before discharge to check for very rare diseases. Another one must be done at your baby’s physician’s office or here at the hospital within 1-2 weeks. You are signing that you won’t forget to get it done!
- Hearing tests are now done on all babies before going home. Most insurances pay for this but you might check with your insurance company to be sure. The cost is about $100. You will sign if you want this hearing test done on your baby.
If you were planning an epidural, your nurse and provider will help determine the best time to begin.
What do I need to bring to the hospital?
- Camera fully charged if digital or with fresh film and batteries if regular camera. Photos of this event are priceless and many people are disappointed that their cameras don’t work.
- Scrunchies, barrettes or head bands to keep hair dry and out of your face.
- Don’t forget a lightweight robe and slippers. You may be more comfortable in your own.
- Bring a little lunch for your partner; the cafeteria is a long way away and most dads don’t like to leave. Avoid foods that smell strong. Coffee, tea and juice are available and there is a fridge in your room.
- Pillows: bring 2 pillows from home with colored pillow cases so they don’t get mixed up with the hospital pillows.
- Routine toiletries like toothbrush, shampoo, hairbrush etc.
- Maternity clothes to go home in. You will be about 6-7 months size right after delivery.
- Your own nightgown can be worn for birth and afterwards but most women prefer wearing a hospital gown as it will probably get soiled.
- Nursing bra. Check out the Breastfeeding Center on the 3rd floor, Nordstrom or maternity stores and get a couple good quality ones.
- Bring a sleeping bag or big blankets for your partner or family member to sleep in your room. The bed by the window is quite cool at night.
- Bring 2 outfits and blankets for your baby to go home in (one is likely to get soiled). The hospital will give you a diaper to go home in.
- Baby car seat. Be sure you know how to install it correctly. Install before coming. You may call the hospital for a car seat check: 425-899-3501.
- Once your things are packed in advance, add a note to your suitcase with all the things that must be added at the last minute like camera, pillow, food, blow dryer, hairbrush, etc.
Do I need to register for the hospital?
Your nurse sends your hospital registration at your first prenatal visit. If you have any changes to your demographic or insurance information, please let us know and we will update your hospital registration.
How long will I stay in the hospital?
If you have a vaginal delivery, you will stay in the hospital about 18-30 hours after your birth, longer if certain complications occur. Make plans to go home as soon as you are discharged to make room for the next family arriving.
If you have a Cesarean birth, you will stay about 2-3 days after your birth, also longer in rare situations.
If your baby needs to stay a bit longer for a medical problem or a little more observation, you might be able to stay overnight in the baby’s room on the 4th floor. You will not be a patient at that time so be sure to make provisions for pain medication and food during your stay.
When do I come back for check-ups?
All mothers will return to the hospital in 2-3 days after discharge for a visit to the Postpartum Care Center located in the Evergreen Professional Center, or coral zone, suite 320 (425-899-3602). The Breastfeeding Center is there also (425-899-3494). You will have a 45 minute appointment with a nurse to examine you and the baby to review both of your conditions and give feeding assistance. This appointment will be made by your nurse before leaving the hospital.
If you have a vaginal delivery, you will call our office to make an appointment for six to eight weeks after delivery.
If you have a Cesarean birth, you will return in two weeks for an incision check and again at six to eight weeks for a postpartum visit.
We, the doctors and staff at Center for Women’s Health, wish you a joyous, exciting birth. If there is anything that we can do to make this a better experience for you, please ask us!