When to call us?
Every delivery is unique, so unfortunately, we cannot provide exact instructions. The following guidelines apply to deliveries that start between 37 and 42 weeks.
Please note: If you experience blood loss, contractions, or rupture of your membranes before the 37th week, it is better to call us immediately.
Call the midwife on duty:
06 – 51 42 84 77
(We cannot receive sms or Whats-app messages)
If you call the midwife on duty, you may be waking her up. This is perfectly fine, but please only call us at night if you absolutely need us.
We would like to speak to the expectant mother; she is best fit to describe what she feels and how she is doing.
*You do not have to call us yet, unless you are worried*
In the last days before delivery, you may feel more and more contractions of your uterus. If you have given birth before, these contractions can already occur a few weeks before delivery. At a certain point these can become stronger, there is more regularity and they turn into pre-contractions.
Pre-contractions can cause a heavy feeling in your abdomen, lower back and pelvic floor. They may sometimes even become regular, e.g. every 10-15 minutes, and be painful. However, pre-contractions do not indicate the start of labor. Your cervix will usually become a bit softer and more flexible due to the pre-contractions, but there will be no dilation yet. That only happens during the dilation contractions.
If the time between the pre-contractions is still irregular and they are still short, it is advisable to rest as much as possible. This way you can save your strength. A warm bath or shower can now be very comfortable: your stomach can relax better because of the heat. Often the pre-contractions stop again.
It may also help you to just carry on with your daily activities. If the pre-contractions occur in the evening or at night, you can try to sleep. It may still take a while for childbirth to start.
In most cases, childbirth starts with having contractions. Contractions are very painful contractions of your uterus. Most women feel contractions in their (lower) abdomen, but you can also feel them in your legs and (lower) back. Contractions that cause cervix dilation are frequent, very regular and usually last for a minute.
- If you are going to give birth to your first baby, as a guideline, we assume that such contractions begin when you have regular and painful contractions for at least one hour. They return every 3-4 minutes, last for one minute and increase in strength
- If it is not your first childbirth, as a guideline, we assume that dilation contractions start when your contractions occur every 4-5 minutes, last for one minute and you have to make an effort to cope with them
RUPTURE OF THE MEMBRANES
Childbirth may also start by breaking the water. You cannot control amniotic fluid like you can with urine. Usually, it is bright in color and it smells sweet. You will not lose all your amniotic fluid at once, but gradually. Do not worry about your baby; there is still plenty of fluid left and the placenta keeps making new fluid.
If your water broke and there is still a lack of descent of the fetus, then call us immediately.
It is also important to look at the color of the amniotic fluid.
If the amniotic fluid is green or brown, please call us immediately. It means that your baby pooped in the amniotic fluid. Sometimes a child poops in response to stress, which is why we want to keep a close eye on the heartbeat of a baby who poops in the amniotic fluid. This can be done by means of a CTG in the hospital; this, however, will make your delivery a medical one.
Is the amniotic fluid clear, white or pink? Then you do not have to call us immediately if it happens during the night. You may go back to sleep and call us in the morning.
Usually, the contractions start within 24 hours after the water breaks. We can therefore patiently wait for this to happen.
It is normal to lose a little bloody mucus at the final stages of pregnancy. Childbirth may then still take a few more days or weeks. If you lose brightly red blood that does not look slimy or is more than a menstrual period, it is better to call us..
You can always call us if you are worried. Sometimes we can reassure you over the phone. It may also happen that we think a check-up at home or in our practice is more appropriate.
Call us when you experience:
- With you first baby: After one hour of having regular and painful contractions every 3-4 minutes that last for 1 minute, which increase in strength.
- Subsequent childbirths: When contractions last for one minute, occur every 4-5 minutes, and you have to make an effort to cope with them.
Rupture of the membranes:
- Is the amniotic fluid clear, white or pink, then call us during the day.
- Is it green or brown, then call us immediately, day or night.
- In case of lack of descent of the fetus, then call us immediately.
- In case of significant blood loss, more than during a normal period.
Do you want to know who is on duty? Refer the calendar to find out.
Prepare your home for childbirth, regardless of whether you want to give birth at home or in the hospital, because childbirth always starts at home. In order to take good care of you, it is important to us that your bed is on bed risers (80 cm high) from the moment you are 37 weeks pregnant and that the maternity package is nearby (just leave everything in the box).
In addition, in case of an emergency, it is important that the ambulance service can reach you quickly and safely. This means that your delivery at home needs to be planned on the ground floor or on the first floor.