Coming to the maternity unit in Labour

There are several signs that labour is starting, but it must be remembered that these signs can vary from woman to woman.
Listed below are some of the signs that may indicate the onset of labour. You don’t have to experience all of them together.

  • Backache
  • Membranes rupture
  • Regular painful contractions – 1 contraction every 5 minutes.

For several days or weeks before established labour starts, some women feel backache, cramps or irregular contractions. Experiencing bouts of contractions lasting a few hours is common. This is normal. If you think you may be in early labour, call your community midwife or Admission Unit for advice. False alarms are common with first time mothers. If you are not in established labour when attending the Admission Unit you may be advised to go home and await established labour (regular pattern of painful contractions). Please read coping with the very early stage of labour

If you have your maternity record, please remember to bring it with you.

For your convenience, the area at the front of the maternity unit is a set down area only. It must be left clear for ambulances. You can arrange for your partner to leave you off and then park in the car park opposite.

On arrival to the maternity unit, please give your name to the receptionist in the entrance area. You will then be assessed in the Admission Unit to check if labour has started and discuss choices for your baby’s birth.

It is essential that you bring a list of any medicines or tablets you may be taking. You should only take medicines as prescribed by medical staff.

Please leave money and valuables at home with relatives. The maternity unit does not accept responsibility or liability for these.

It is important that you have made arrangements with family and friends to have some practical support with house-keeping and cooking for the first few days after having your baby. If your birth experience is normal and uncomplicated, you will go home as soon as your condition allows and you may not need to stay overnight.