If you think that you are in labour, calling the birth suite is always the first action to take before deciding to head into the hospital. The midwives will ask you a series of questions to try and ascertain where you are in your labour. 

When in the first stage of labour, contact the birth suite:

  • if this is your first baby, when your contractions have been regular and between 5-7 minutes apart for at least an hour. For subsequent babies, call when your contractions are regular and 10 minutes apart
  • if you feel unable to cope with the contractions at home, or would prefer to be at the hospital
  • when your membranes (or waters) rupture
  • if you feel that your baby's normal pattern of activity has slowed or increased, or you notice reduced foetal movements
  • when planning to go into hospital, be sure to take into account the time of day and possible traffic, how strong your contractions are, how you are managing them and how effectively your partner is managing to support you

If you are ever unsure about your well-being or that of your baby, do not hesitate to contact the birth suite staff. They are here for you at any time of the day or night and would much prefer you call them, than worry.

Symptoms to watch out for:

If you experience any of the following symptoms, be sure to contact your birth suite immediately:

  • bright vaginal bleeding different to a 'show'
  • persistent severe headache
  • blurred vision
  • dizziness
  • sudden swelling of the hands and face
  • acute abdominal pain that does not subside
  • burning sensation when passing urine
  • premature breaking of waters (rupture of membranes)