When is The Right Time to Go to The Hospital?

I keep hearing stories of women who go to the hospital too early in labor, only to be sent home. When is the right time to go?

Question:

The truth is, there are no hard-and-fast rules about when to go to the hospital because each labor -- and each woman -- is different. There are some good guidelines, however. Generally, when you're experiencing all or most of the following, it's time to go:

-- Contractions that are five minutes apart or less, ten minutes if it's not your first baby. (Remember to time contractions from the beginning of one to the beginning of the next.)
-- Each contraction is lasting 45 seconds or longer
-- Contractions are getting noticeably stronger
-- You are less distractible between contractions
-- You feel like you need to be there.

If your water breaks (membranes rupture), you should let your doctor or midwife know. Caregivers have different policies about what they want you to do in this circumstance. Their decision of whether or not to admit you should be based on your individual circumstances, rather than a "one size fits all" policy.

For more imformation, read "Your Labor Guide

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