My due date is approaching, and I just don’t know what to expect. Do you go to the hospital as soon as you start labor?
Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply: Your doctor or midwife will tell you at what point you should call and go to the hospital, judging by how far apart your contractions are. You’ll also want to ask how you should time the contractions.
During my first pregnancy, I went into labor on a Saturday night. My doctor had planned to induce me on Monday, but I beat him to it. I told my husband that I was in labor, and he went downstairs and watched a movie with his dad while I was in early labor. This was actually a good thing because it gave me some time alone with the baby
That night, the contractions weren’t too painful yet, and I read and walked around the house to pass the time until it was time to go to the hospital. I also took a shower, which kept me busy and eased the pain. I dozed on and off, too, because my contractions were only 15 to 20 minutes apart.
My husband and I went to the hospital the next morning when my contractions were around 5 minutes apart.
—Karen Heald, MD, a mom of four boys and a board-certified family physician in private practice outside Atlanta, GA