AM I IN LABOUR?
For the modern woman who is used to time tables and tight schedules, having to wait for labour is often disconcerting. The not knowing what to expect and when to go to the hospital can make you feel out of control. But take heart: the incidence of precipitous labour (less than three hours) is very small so there is no need to panic and rush to hospital with your first twinge of pain.
Read: Am I in labour?
Read: False labour or the real thing?
YOU'LL NEED THESE DOCUMENTS TO REGISTER:
- Bed booking receipt.
- Medical aid card.
- Authorisation number and details.
- Unemployment (UIF) forms – to be filled in while you are in hospital.
- Medical aid forms to register baby – to be sent to the medical aid ASAP.
On admission you will be given a hospital nightie – or you can choose to wear your comfy clothes and shoes you brought from home.
Be sure to tell the sister admitting you about any allergies or anything specific to your labour.
If you drew up a birth plan, give it to the sister.
You may have a foetal-heart monitor attached to your belly for a short while to assess your labour: the length and strength of contractions and baby's heart rate. The sister in the labour ward will also do an internal examination to check how far baby has moved into the pelvis and baby's position.
START A FLIP FILE FOR BABY'S PAPERS
- Record of baby's birth.
- Birth registration forms (these will be provided by the hospital – if not, you can collect them from your local Home Affairs, or download them from www.home-affairs.gov.za).
- Immunisation and Road to Health card (you will get this with your baby's first immunisation at the hospital or the clinic).
- ID number and birth certificate when it comes back from Home Affairs.
WHEN YOU GO HOME
- Check baby's armbands to make sure you're taking the right baby home.
- Make a note of dates and times for follow-up appointments for you and your baby.
- Your baby may need a bilirubin test (to check for jaundice) and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) test done before you leave the hospital.
- Ensure that any medications ordered from the pharmacy as well as those taken in hospital are not left behind.
- Discuss feeding, bathing, changing, cord and eye care, immunisations and general baby care with the nursery midwife before you go home.
- Ask questions about bleeding, breastfeeding, baby blues and infections if you are worried.