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When I was pregnant, I was always inquisitive as to what D-Day would be like, what are the procedures and formalities that will have to be conducted in the hospital on the day of delivery. I would speak to recent mothers to pacify the curiosity. I never wanted to read or watch online videos but wanted to understand the practical, the reality of delivering a baby.
Here, I am listing a step by step guide as to what you will witness on the day of delivery if you do not have any complications and if you are following the standard course of action for normal delivery.
- When contractions begin, it’s important you stay at home and bide your time till you are in active labour. Reaching active labour takes at least 5-6 hours or in a few cases, more, and there is nothing better than your home ambience to pass this time. The hospital procedure will only start once you are having contractions which are regular in nature and last for a longer duration. Be careful that if your water breaks any time you need to be immediately admitted.
- Once the pain increases, get ready with your maternity bag and all your medical documents and head to the hospital labour room.
- While your family completes the formalities, you will be tested for basic health check-ups including blood, liver report etc. The non-stress test will be conducted to ensure you are actually in labour.
- The hair from your privates will be shaved off; your nails have to be chipped, you cannot adorn any trinkets and those need to be handed over to the family. Mobile phones are not allowed in the labour room. Do carry your rubber band for tying your hair and spectacles if you wear one.
- Next, you will be given an enema in the rectum, which is nothing but introducing fluids into the intestine, which will help with a bowel movement and release the stool. Post this, you will only be on a liquid diet, and no solids shall be given.
- Be ready for multiple internal check-ups wherein the doctors will insert their fingers into the vaginal cavity to understand the dilation of the cervix and whether you are ready for delivery or not. You shall be taken to the delivery room only once you are 10 cm dilated which means the cervix is open up to 10 cms unless there are complications and you might have to go for a C-section.
- There will be multiple Non-stress tests (NST) that will be done to check on the health of the baby, especially the heart rate and to track the contractions. I feel this was the most stressful time as you feel the pain of the contractions, even more, when the NST belt is around your waist.
- You will have to wait for at least 4-5 hours in most cases before the cervix actually dilates to 10 cm which would mean the frequency of the pain will keep on increasing and will last for longer periods.
- You might want to take an epidural which is an option given by most doctors these days. Taking an epidural is a personal choice, and it will help you not to experience the intensity of the labour while it’s still there. You can be asked to do squats, exercise or walk around so that the baby’s head can come down, which will help to expedite the dilation process.
- Once you are dilated to the allowed value, you shall be taken to the delivery room to push. Remember, pushing doesn’t mean screaming, save your energy and push as if you are constipated and when you are about to get a contraction. Releasing urine or stool in the process is common, so don’t be embarrassed.
- Once the baby is out, you will be relieved of all pain as if it never existed. In the process, your perineum (the area between the anus and vagina) might tear which is quite common, and you are given stitches to heal the area, and it recovers in a couple of days.
I have covered most of the steps which are standard routine; in between, there can be complications as delivery is always unpredictable. I hope this will help you be prepared for D-Day. Do write back if you have any questions!
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