Before the hospital — The Bump
June 2017 Moms

Before the hospital

Ftm here and the closer and closer I get to the baby's  due date the more I realize how clueless I am.
So, what do you do when you feel contractions, call the doctor, and baby's coming? I hear many women have time to shower, pack, etc. How much time do we typically have and should you eat before?  Maybe the time question isn't really a good question. I'm more curious about eating to have stamina to push, but not being uncomfortable. 
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Re: Before the hospital

  • mkrelmkrel member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Clueless ftm here too...but in my childbirth class they told us not to eat much because people tend to get nauseated during labor. 
    I'm also curious about your other questions. I think a lot of it just has to do with how quickly eavh individual progresses though. They told us to call the doctor with the 5-1-1 rule and that is when to go to the hospital, but it seems like at that point you'd be getting pretty uncomfortable. 
  • I ate while in labor last time. I had some steak, my ob recommended it because we knew I would bleed a lot so the extra iron helped. I don't recommend eating asparagus. The nurse totally laughed at me when I had to get cathed. Lol 
    i stayed home until it got painful, right as we were trying to figure out if it was time my water broke so we knew. I labored at home from waking up that morning until 11 pm. My contractions never were consistent. 
  • I think you should always call when something changes or you believe you are in labor. For me last time it was a no brainer because my water broke and they only allow you to go 24 hours to avoid infection. I also have about a 40 min drive to the hospital. Sometimes they send you home for awhile though, so just be prepared to be flexible.

    I wasn't very hungry during my long labor (maybe ate some crackers) but I definitely tried to stay very hydrated.
  • Honestly, I would say eat whatever you feel like eating while you are in labor. I had a long labor (40+ hours) and needed every bit of energy I could muster. My labor likely would have been shorter if I'd been able to keep more food down.

    You can't really plan on even a vague labor time. Everyone is so different, and there are so many factors. 
    Married 8/29/09
    MC: 9/14
    Goober #1 born: 8/17/15
    MC: 9/16
    Goober # 2 EDD: 6/27/17
  • delujm0delujm0 member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    edited April 2017
    Are you taking a birth class?  They cover most of these questions in there.

    I left for the hospital with DD when contractions were about 4 minutes apart.  We live 45 minutes away and I was gbs+ so I knew I needed to get there in time for antibiotics.  I kind of wish I'd gotten there earlier, triage took forever and I didn't get my epi until hours after I really wanted it.  I'll leave earlier this time, though DD wasn't actually born until almost 10 hours after we got there.

    We didn't have to call the doctor, my office has a doctor at the hospital 24/7 so we just showed up at L&D and told them I was in labor.  I had been having timeable contractions for about 4 hours before we left for the hospital...they started off at 6-7 minutes apart right from the beginning for me.

    I ate a sandwich, chips, and an apple before I left the house bc I knew I wouldn't be allowed to eat once I was admitted.  They let me order food after DD was born, even though it was after midnight by the time I was ordering.  I didn't get sick at all but I was starving after 2.5 hours of pushing.
    Me: 36 DH: 36
    Married 5-31-14
    DD1 born 6-21-15
    DD2 born 6-11-17
    BFP#3 12-21-17 - EDD 8/29/18
  • c1tym0m22c1tym0m22 member
    500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 500 Comments Name Dropper
    edited April 2017
    My water broke at 10:30pm (in epic fashion) so there was no doubt that I needed to go to the hospital with DD. In terms of food, I wasn't in the mood to eat when still home but did end up pretty starving by the time I actually gave birth nearly 24 hours later (but definitely threw up during labor, so perhaps it was good that I had only been allowed clear beverages and jello). 

    I agree with PP to simply call your doc when you think it might be time. Even with my water breaking, mine told me there was no rush to get to the hospital - I'd been only at 1.5cm that morning and they felt confident I would need to be induced to convince DD to come out (and were totally right).

    The fun this time will be that we need to get someone to watch DD whenever we think it's time - but thankfully we now live across the street from the hospital so I could just head over by myself. 
    Me 37, DH 40
    BFP #1 6/13 DD 3/14
    Mirena 10/14-5/16
    BFP #2 9/2/16, CP confirmed 9/8/16
    BFP #3 10/10/16 EDD 6/22/17
  • Ask your ob when they want you to call and when you can be admitted. For my midwives they use the 4-1-1 rule. 4 mins apart, lasting 1 min, for 1 hr. They also say call if your water breaks as soon as office hrs start or immediatly if it includes red or brown fluids. The birth center will not admit you unless you are 6 cms. 
    For me, my water broke at 6:45am. My contractions didnt start for another hr. I called at 8:30 bc once the contractions started they were 3 mins apart, lasting for 1 min. I calked after 45 mins. My midwife had me come to the office to be checked first and then sent me to the birth center bc I was 6+.
    I think the time varies by your facility, if your water is broken, and your risk factors. If you are low risk and interested in trying low intervention, its recommended to labor at home as long as possible.
  • I asked my obgyn and she said to call if I suspect.  She also recommended not taking a birth class. She said they go over what can go wrong and it will probably just worry me.  The only class she has suggested is breastfeeding .
    All your posts are helpful!
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  • @merrylea I am a planner, but also a worrier so I guess I'll just be naive to it all. :lol:
    Was your class at the hospital?
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  • @jennas312 Yes it was given by my hospital. It went over types of births, pain management techniques and options, caring for your baby, breast-feeding, breathing techniques, and when to go to the hospital. With the knowledge of what happens during childbirth, there is less to be worried about. At no time did they give any worst case scenarios, or the longest labor stories or anything like that. Only good things.
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • I am also shocked that your doc would tell you NOT to attend the childbirth class! Say what?!

    I think the 4-1-1 rule is pretty standard. I really hope your doc gives you more to go on than to just call if you suspect it's happening!

    Re: eating before and during labor. My first time around I woke up in labor at 3am and we pretty much went right in. My baby was born at 6pm and guess what I remember most prominently? Not being able to eat or drink anything. It was completely barbaric to me and my DH was being such a stickler about it and would only give me ice chips. I wanted to kill him. I threw up at some point early on and I am sure that didn't help my desire to eat and drink. Then my second one came so fast I didn't have to worry about it. My recommendation would be to ask what the hospital's policy is on eating/drinking during labor and if they don't allow it, talk to your DH about ignoring it and giving you some damn food and water if/when you ask for it. I don't think you should be eating a huge meal but it is a marathon and you need your fuel!!

    Me: 36;  DH: 38
    DD: 7; DS1: 4; DS2 due 6-21-17!
    MMC & D&C Aug 2016
  • I've been interviewing doulas and they say they will come to my house to help with laboring at home and help me figure out when to leave for the hospital. Might be something to look into if you feel it would help.
  • I ate breakfast at around 8:30 before going in for my induction with DS, but I was starving by noon! Thank goodness I had packed a Clif bar and bottle of Gatorade because I was able to eat/drink it as soon as we finished the hour of skin to skin at around 4:30. I was allowed to drink as many clear fluids as I wanted during labor, though.

    I should've eaten more beforehand. This time around I will be doing what @Mother0fDragons  said and downing all the protein and Gatorade ahead of time. I had a fast labor, but I was running out of energy and just feeling sick from hunger toward the end. 
  • mkrelmkrel member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    @jennas312 I am also just adding my two cents regarding the birth class. The one we took at the hospital was great. DH also found it very helpful. They went over what to expect with a vaginal birth vs csection, what types of interventions and pain managament may be offered, care of your body post partum, relaxation techniques during labor either for before you get an epi or if you want to stay med free, and a tour of the hospital. It was a long day,  but I would recommend it. It was in no way scary, just informative, and we both feel better prepared to take on whatever comes our way during the process because of it. 
  • We went in at 4am with my first (my water broke but was a small trickle that made me feel like I had to pee every 5 min) and he wasn't born until 5:30 pm but I'm going to be honest and say I don't remember eating anything! I'm pretty sure I was in shock or something because normally food is the one and only thing on my mind!!! LOL 
    I do remember my in-laws bringing me McDonald's after he was born and it didn't hit the spot the way I thought it would after all the hard work I just did. 
  • I didn't end up being able to take the birth class I signed up for with my first because I ended up on bedrest that weekend and then it was too late.  I did read a ton of books so I felt really prepared that way . I think knowing what to expect helps my anxiety more than going in not knowing.  So if you aren't going to go to a class maybe you could pick a book or two to read.  

    I would also suggest eating before you head to the hospital.  I ate McDonald's breakfast on my way there around 6 or 7am and they wouldn't let me eat until after my son was born.  Thankfully he was born at 1:27 pm but I remember my stomach growling and being starving.  If I would have had a longer labor I would not have had the energy to make it.  I'll definitely be packing some snacks to sneak in.
    I also kept trying to talk my DH into going to get himself lunch so he would feel better.  He was a nervous mess and would not go eat.  I was worried he was going to pass out at birth too lol.  
  • Every person is different. For me, my water broke and I rushed to the hospital and was there for 32 hours before giving birth. However, you could be compleatly different if your water brakes on its own. You could have two hours before having your baby. Everyone is different. 
    Once you start having contractions close together you should call your dr and they will tell you to either wait or head to the hospital. Before you can take a fast shower if you want to feel clean, eat a small something before heading there. You don't really want to eat too much because you don't know if you will have to have a c section. And where I live they don't like you eating anything other then fluids in case. Your hospital could be conpleaty different and allow you to eat the whole time. 
    If you have a chance I would do some birthing classes. They go over everything you would have a question about to get ready. 
  • Its amazing the various policies bc I was specifically encouraged to eat and drink in labor. 
  • I'm so jealous of all the ladies eating during labor!!! I labored for 2.5 days and was only allowed clear liquids. If I could go back (and for once my husband WAS right) we should have eaten before we went in!
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • I was induced each time, but only allowed ice chips after check-in. I have no experience with going into labor on my own, but my doc has a flyer they hand out of when to call or go to L&D. We are to go in when you have 5 contractions in an hour and/or they're one minute in length. Also, if you're GBS+, I believe you would need to go to the hospital asap if your water breaks for antibiotics.

    It's hard to say you have this much time as a FTM. I know a FTM who barely made it to the hospital to give birth, so while many FTMs labor for awhile, that might not be your situation, so just speak to your doc and follow their protocols.
  • XathXath member
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Photogenic
    mombod said:
    Its amazing the various policies bc I was specifically encouraged to eat and drink in labor. 
    I think it largely depends on hospital policy.  My OB told me the primary reason to avoid food during labor was as a protective measure in the event of an emergency cesarean where general anesthesia is required.  If there's food in the stomach when you go under GA there's a higher likelihood of vomiting and aspirating from the vomit-caused airway obstruction.

    Other doctors argue that by allowing a woman to eat during labor, she's more likely to keep her strength up and less likely to require a cesarean from exhaustion.  So different hospitals have different policies depending on where they fall in the argument.
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  • jennas312 said:
    I asked my obgyn and she said to call if I suspect.  She also recommended not taking a birth class. She said they go over what can go wrong and it will probably just worry me.  The only class she has suggested is breastfeeding .
    All your posts are helpful!
    My midwife also told me not to take a class. But that's only because I'm a stm and did it all natural last time with out a class. But last time I read everything I possibly could on breastfeeding and childbirth and had good support. She told me classes are usually really  for the dads.

    if you are worried or want more info I don't think it would hurt to take a class. But from experience it's not absolutely necessary. 
  • We went to the hospital tour last weekend and it said no food during labor, so I immediately thought of what I could eat before going to the hospital. Idk there is one class they offer for $110, and after my doc said not to bother I was ok with it lol. I have been reading the mayoclinic book. 
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • I was induced each time, but only allowed ice chips after check-in. I have no experience with going into labor on my own, but my doc has a flyer they hand out of when to call or go to L&D. We are to go in when you have 5 contractions in an hour and/or they're one minute in length. Also, if you're GBS+, I believe you would need to go to the hospital asap if your water breaks for antibiotics.

    It's hard to say you have this much time as a FTM. I know a FTM who barely made it to the hospital to give birth, so while many FTMs labor for awhile, that might not be your situation, so just speak to your doc and follow their protocols.
    I second this- with my first I had enough time to change my clothes after my water broke, call my OB, call my husband, and get driven to the hospital, and then a few minutes later my daughter was born.  Just another scenario!!
  • My OB told me to call her if I'm having contractions 5 minutes or less apart, 30 seconds in length and that lasts for an hour. So I guess if contractions begin and you haven't packed you've got an hour to do so. I would just eat whatever you feel that you can stomach, keeping in mind some women vomit during labor. 
  • I'm "meh" on classes myself. We took one with DS but I didn't really learn anything new. I had already read a ton about breasfeeding, labor, and PP care. It was helpful to know some hospital-specific policies and practices, but still could have easily gone without and saved the $$ for other things. IMHO the breastfeeding class is informative, but holding a doll in different positions in no way prepared me to begin BFing. I'm not sure if anything could other than hands (boobs?) on experience with your own specific squirming baby. 
    I gave the handouts and booklets from our class to my SIL who gave birth 6 months after me at the same hospital, and she and my brother learned all they needed from those and other birthing books. 

    That said, our instructor was an actual L&D nurse at our hospital and there was no one better to ask if we had questions. I don't regret going, but wouldn't tell anyone that it was absolutely necessary.
  • I'm finding classes are more helpful for DH than for me, because I've been doing so much independent reading, but he takes information much better from an authority figure than just from me telling him. 

    I also have been told by my midwife to call them when I think I'm in active labour, and that in most cases she will be able to tell just from hearing me on the phone whether it's the real deal and should head to the hospital or not. Since it's about a 45 mins drive away, that is definitely a helpful thing so we hopefully don't drive all the way there to be sent back home again. 
  • ellie111227ellie111227 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited April 2017
    I think eating and drinking during labor really helps to maintain stamina. I labored for thirty hours with dd, and I ate pbj sandwiches, Mac and cheese, smoothies, popsicles, and drank lots of water. I never really felt like eating, but I think it helped me keep my strength up. The hospital I am going to now has a policy of chest liquids only during labor, but when I expressed concern about that my ob basically said it is an outdated policy based on old anesthesia practices, and that it basically just means I can't order food from the hospital. She advised me to bring my own food and just nicely tell the nurses that I understand that they are directed not to have me eat but I am declining to follow that direction, and they can just mark that in the chart. I won't do that if my labor is quicker this time, but I definitely will if it stretches past 12 hours or so. I'll probably try to stick to those prebottled smoothie drinks so it's not too far from being clear liquids. And I will definitely force myself to sip water between every contraction, but that is "allowed."

    I will probably head for the hospital around 6-1-1 or  5-1-1 because it is a 45 minute drive without traffic. I'd like to get there by 3-1-1 or so, and I obviously can't predict how fast I will progress this time. I don't wasn't too hang out at the hospital forever, but I also don't want to have this baby in the car!
  • I agree with what other posters have said about the whole eating thing. Definitely eat something and stay hydrated because you never know how long labor will last (mine lasted almost 40 hours!) and you will need the energy; labor is tough stuff! Also, usually FTM's have a longer early labor period so you may have time to do some things around the house/prep for hospital, but if an emergency occurs (like your water breaks and there is meconium in it for instance) you'll need to get to the hospital ASAP.

    @MKRLTX Vomiting during transition doesn't happen to everyone (I'd venture to say only half of women experience this) so I'm actually surprised they're teaching it as a certainty in your childbirth class. Please, by all means, eat something! :)

    Me: 30
         DH: 34
    Married 11/09/2013
    LO#1: LMP 09/19/2014  BFP 10/15/2014  EDD 06/24/2015  DS Born 06/14/2015
    LO#2: LMP 09/18/2016  BFP 10/19/2016  EDD 06/27/2017 DD Born 06/27/2017
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  • Well I ate about 9 cups of jello and orange sherbert during my labor.  I wasn't allowed anything heavy in the event things got a little crazier than expected and an emergency csection was needed. Afterwards they gave me a bag lunch at 4am to tide me over until breakfast.  
  • I have "enjoyed" (if you can call it that my birth class) so far and felt that any acknowledgement of what can go wrong was put in a way that I could hear it. The nurse teaching is in her 70s and spoke lovingly of a time when doctors knew how to deliver babies "beautifully with forceps" when the need was there. Now, she doesn't believe the doctors know how to do it well enough so they need to rely on other things. She demonstrated a number of interventions that made them less scary to us all. If you are anxious about what can go wrong and hearing about them make it worse, than sure, skip the class. But if hearing about things that will make the moment less scary if you need them will help you, I recommend learning about the things that can be used in labor to help you along in a tense situation.

    She also mentioned one of the reasons why they recommend no food: vomiting during labor. If you have an empty stomach, the risks are less for that. She said, "The nurses don't mind, they've seen it all before. We just don't want you to feel uncomfortable about it." If you'd rather risk it and have the extra snack, have the extra snack. You have to know your own mortification level. Personally, I know that whatever happens, happens and I don't know how much shame I will have in L&D. 

    Did anyone indulge in wine during labor?
    Married 8/12
    MC 4/15
    BFP 10/10/16

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  • I suppose it must be what my doctor hears from patients about my hospital's class that had her tell me she doesn't recommend it, or I guess she doesn't think necessary. Idk.
    On the food topic, my mom said I probably won't be thinking about food at all during labor haha. I'm definitely going to pack some snacks though for after. 
    Wine during?! I wonder what my hospital's policy is on that is, probably big no lol,.
    Pregnancy Ticker
  • Add me to the "I ate all throughout labor" group.
    My nurses just looked the other way. I was not super hungry, just trying  to keep my stamina up. By the time I got to the hospital, I'd been in early labor for 2 days already. THeres no way I could have gone without eating at that point. 

    As for the class,  that's the only way my hospital tours. It was great that we Knew where everything was on day of

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