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You’re so close, Mom! Get prepared, this is what to expect once admitted to the delivery ward.

Once you land at the labour ward, the doctor/midwife will assess if you are in labour. If indeed your baby is on the way, you’ll be directed straight to the delivery suite. This means that you would be at least 3-4 cm dilated. (If it is a false alarm, you’ll be discharged to wait – but don’t worry, you’ll be back soon for the big event.)

What checks will I expect?

You’ll be monitored through your labour to check on the progress. Here’s what to expect:

  • The doctor/midwife checks on your condition, blood pressure and pain score regularly

  • Digital heart-rate monitor (AKA cardiotocograph / CTG) will be strapped around your bump to check on contractions and baby’s heart rate

  • Internal examination is also performed to check on progress. If your fore-water is intact, the doctor may burst the water-bag with a hook. You may feel some warm amniotic fluid AKA liquor (this is not whiskey!) trickling out. These checks are uncomfortable. Be brave.

  • An intravenous plug is inserted to hydrate you.

Will medications are needed?

  • Epidural to ease your labour pains (this is your life-saver).

  • Oxytocics to strengthen the contractions

  • Antibiotics may be given to prevent infection to baby for women with Group B Streptococcus (GBS) infection

5 Tips in labour

#1 Try non-drug self-help methods like relaxation, deep breathing and music.

#2 Hydrate yourself adequately. Ask for ice chips to counter your thirst.

#3 Mouth gargle refreshes and revitalises you.

#4 Pass urine frequently as a full bladder will slow the progress of labour.

#5 Your partner gives you with great physical and emotional support. Ask him to massage your back, distract you and provide reassurance. This calms you down and he will feel involved in the labour process.

Credit: Dr. Tan Thiam Chye, Pregnancy Singapore