Understanding the standard procedures at a hospital birth

OBGYN Lauren Hyman, MD, shares advice for pregnant women on what to expect during the procedure of giving birth at the hospital
Understanding The Standard Procedures of A Hospital Birth
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Understanding the standard procedures at a hospital birth

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Some standard procedures that you might encounter when you come to the hospital to deliver your baby include, first off, making sure you and your baby are safe. The nurse is gonna take all of your vital signs, your blood pressure, your pulse, your respiratory rate. Then, she's gonna check your baby by monitoring it with a band around your belly and looking at the pattern of the baby's fetal heart rate tracing. She's gonna put another band around your belly and look at the nature of the contractions. Both of these can be done with internal monitors as well and that may happen further along in the course of your labor. Once the nurse knows that you and your baby are safe, she's gonna get blood work. If you;ve already had all of your prenatal labs done and you're a laboring patient, she'll just order a complete blood count. If you're having a C section, she might order some additional blood tests as well. Once you're in labor, the nurse is gonna be checking your cervix every few hours to see if you're dilating appropriately. Of course, during this time, you'll also have an IV placed for hydration, but that IV could be heplock if you like to walk around without an IV pull. And, while you're contracting, if you're uncomfortable, you can also ask for pain medicine in a form of epidural or narcotic medication. When the nurse checks your cervix, she's gonna make sure that you're dilating appropriately. And, sometimes, if you do what we call falling off the labor curve or aren't dilating appropriately, the nurse may contact the doctor or midwife who recommends that you have some extra medicine added to give your contractions a little bit more strength or become more frequent to help you along in your labor process.

OBGYN Lauren Hyman, MD, shares advice for pregnant women on what to expect during the procedure of giving birth at the hospital

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Lauren D. Hyman, MD

Obstetrician Gynecologist

Dr. Lauren Hyman is a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist. After receiving her ScB from Brown University and her medical degree from Yale University, Dr. Hyman returned to Southern California where she has been in private practice in the West Hills area for fifteen years. She can be seen weekly on Hallmark Channelʼs Home and Family Pregnancy Series and is a contributing writer on mom.me. She lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles.

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