Answers to the hottest questions about labor and delivery

Questions and answers on childbirth


When you are pregnant and childbirth is approaching, the questions that come to mind are many: how much pain will I hear What will happen in the hospital and during the delivery. In short, everyone tells us about childbirth and the pains of labor, but the questions for a future mother are many.

Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions

I first asked these questions during the first pregnancy and then with experience I discovered what I needed to know to prepare myself in all senses for the time of delivery. Sometimes also out of shame they avoid asking certain questions to the gynecologist or midwife. If you want to get to the hospital "ready for anything" but don't want to ask direct questions that you find embarrassing, read here!

It's time to go to the hospital, maybe the waters suddenly broke, the first pains are felt with an annoying back pain in the lumbar area or kidneys or maybe you notice that the belly has "dropped" and you feel particularly tired and fatigued.
Or again, you begin to feel some sporadic contraction that gradually increases in intensity and shortens the time between one and the other. Then you say to yourself: yes, the baby knocks it's time to leave!

The stages of labor

You have already prepared the suitcase for quite a while, done and unpacked, you have put everything in it: your cup, your personal cutlery, a jar with table salt, toothpaste, bras for breastfeeding, detergents and creams for the personal toilet, the mp3 player, the absorbent cups for the breast, the mega absorbents for post-partum, the mesh panties recommended by the midwife and everything you think you will need.
Of course, you also packed slippers, 3 or 4 hospital nightgowns and a dressing gown. The baby bags are also ready, only the mobile phone charger and toothbrush are missing, the classics that are put in the suitcase last.

We have prepared the documents, the folder with all the reports of the visits, analyzes and ultrasounds is already inside the suitcase, we just have to attach the Identity Card and the Health Card.

What to do before going to the hospital 

  • Can I take a shower before I go to the hospital?

Yes, indeed it is recommended to do it before hospitalization first of all for a matter of hygiene and then because the hot water helps to relax and prepare in the best way for the moment of dilation.

  • Can I to eat before giving birth?

If labor goes on for a long time and energy is lacking, it is possible to eat (where anesthesia is not required), always keeping light and not overdoing it; you can eat yogurt, fruit and light food.

  • Should I shave at home?

It is not necessary to shave also because the hair removal must be carried out in a septic way that eliminates the possibility of infections and when the obstetrician sees the need to perform the episiotomy;

  • Can someone keep me company in the delivery room?

In most facilities there are no problems getting a person into the delivery room with the expectant mother, as long as this desire is communicated at the time of admission and that the person uses the gowns and aids that are given to him.

  • Should I have an enema at home? 

If you have gone bowel and the rectum is free there is no need to administer purges, sometimes the midwife may deem it necessary to do an enema in a hospital setting to help the baby get out and have a "clean" birth.

Labor and childbirth. What happens in the hospital 

A nurse at the acceptance of the obstetric-gynecological emergency room will take some vital parameters (blood pressure and body temperature) and ask to show her all the documents relating to the pregnancy; the midwife or gynecologist on duty will carry out first a track to detect uterine contractions and to see if these are intense and frequent and they will do a gynecological examination to see the state of the uterus (dilation, position, stiffness or softness), if it corresponds to the weeks of gestation reported and to understand how the child, if cephalic or breech. You may also find it helpful to do a amnioscopia or the control of amniotic fluid and checking the membranes to see if they are intact or broken.

After these procedures they will make us change and accompany us in the labor room. We will remain there until the moment of delivery, we will be constantly monitored with the cardiotocograph to detect contractions and possible fetal suffering, and with exploratory visits. Depending on the structure, we will or will not be allowed to walk and move as we see fit to indulge the pain or they will force us to bed to better monitor us. In case of rupture of the membranes they will probably make us stay in bed to avoid a prolapse of the cord.

The stages of labor

Generally in primiparas (women at the first birth) it is expected that the dilation is complete and reaches 10 cm, while in multiparas it can go a little earlier. However, everything depends on the progress of labor and on how the woman reacts and cooperates

  • Labor, how to push and how to breathe? 

You have to wait for the midwife to say this because often even if you "want" to push it is not yet the time because the uterus is not completely dilated and the head is still high, risking to tear and lengthen the time of labor. There is a way to control yourself and avoid pushing despite the urge, here it helps the breathing that we were taught during the birth preparation course.

  • How to relieve the pain of childbirth? 

Unless you have decided to have epidural anesthesia, which they will do when the uterus has 3/4 cm of dilation, you will have to try to stay as relaxed as possible and perform the breathing techniques learned during the course.

  • Oxytocin, what is it and when is it given? 

Oxytocin is the hormone produced by the woman's body during labor that helps during childbirth, sometimes it is essential to administer it to increase contractions and accelerate the progress of labor, if no problems arise and labor proceeds smoothly. it will be needed.

  • Caesarean section, when is it done? 

An emergency cesarean is used when fetal suffering is highlighted through the path with the baby's heartbeat slowed down or perhaps the dilation is blocked or the head gets stuck and cannot go down the birth canal

  • What if the baby can't get out

The gynecologist may resort to the use of forceps or a suction cup; these are used to speed up expulsion in the event of fetal distress where it is no longer possible to intervene with a caesarean section

  • Episiotomy. What is it and when is it done? 

Episiotomy, the incision that is made in the perineum, between the vagina and the anus, is often indispensable to help the baby get out and to prevent this, when suddenly coming out, tears the tissues, causing more serious damage. The midwife will practice it only if the need is seen when the head is already visible and after a light anesthesia; after childbirth then it will come disinfected and sutured with stitches that will fall out spontaneously.

  • What happens after giving birth? 

After the birth, once the afterbirth has been passed, that is the expulsion of the placenta, we will be disinfected and sutured and we will remain about two hours in the room adjacent to the delivery room. After the pediatrician has examined and washed the baby, if we want, we can try to attach it to the breast

After 2 hours if everything went well we will be transferred in the room. Depending on the structure, the baby will either stay with us for the entire duration of the hospital stay except for the moments of the bath and the visits (rooming in) or will be looked after by the neonatal nurses at the nursery, with all the other babies, and will stay with us for a few hours a day and for feedings

  • When does the milky rise arrive? 

After giving birth we will have colostrum, a liquid calibrated to give the baby the right energy while waiting for the real milk to arrive. The lactation usually arrives within 4 or 5 days. If the pediatrician is late, he may decide to give the baby some formulated milk or glucose solutions, to provide him with essential energy and sugars.

After we have removed all (or almost all) doubts regarding the imminent birth ... good luck and good motherhood to all!


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