Arrival at maternity: what is waiting for me?


Arrival at maternity: what is waiting for me?

You know the place well. You have already come for the follow-up of your pregnancy, for the courses of preparation for the birth … however, today, the maternity seems to you different. Maybe because you are not going to ask for your file for consultations but admissions!

Arrival at maternity: what is waiting for me?
Arrival at maternity: what is waiting for me?

You have been waiting this moment for nine months … Watch in hand; it has been more than an hour that you feel in the bottom of your belly the painful pinches that now come back every five minutes? You have no contractions, but you have lost the waters? It is time to go to maternity! Do not panic. Here, whatever the time of your arrival, the childbirth is a daily occurrence and the team is well-established to welcome you.


Upon your arrival, you will be taken care of by a midwife or doctor on duty. The admission procedures vary according to the habits of each establishment, the number of employees, but also the progress of the work.

The welcome will, of course, be more serene if the medical team is not overwhelmed and if you are not about to give birth. Hence the importance of not waiting until the last minute to go to the maternity and to know the signs announcing the departure.

What’s going to happen

The midwife who welcomes you will first fill in the administrative formalities for your admission and consult your medical file. If you have been followed by a midwife at home, do not forget to bring this document. It is particularly useful because it contains the history of your pregnancy as well as relevant information: date of the anticipated term, possible allergies, anesthetic assessment necessary for the laying of the epidural if you wish …

Give him time to read these things. She will then ask you questions to get an idea of your general condition: “Have you lost the waters? At what moment? When did the contractions begin? What is their frequency, their duration? Do you feel your baby moving? When was your last meal?

What you can ask

Keep in mind that unexpected events are always likely to occur, preventing childbirth from happening as you wish. Allow yourself also the opportunity to change desires without living this as a failure!


Once the admission procedure has been finalized, the midwife will perform a clinical examination to check the progress of the work and to ensure that your health does not require special measures.

What’s going to happen

The gynecological examination is often the first gesture of the midwife. Similar to those performed throughout pregnancy, it is a measure of the dilation of the cervix and the flexibility of the perineum by vaginal touch, which will make it possible to evaluate the progress of the work.

The palpation of your belly helps to locate the position of your baby, determining for the continuation. For example, if the patient is in a seat, some precautions are necessary, and the midwife will ensure that a doctor and an anesthetist are present during the delivery.

  • Taking blood pressure helps to verify that there is no risk of eclampsia. This condition is characterized by convulsions associated with proteinuria (an excess of protein in the urine). This is why you will also make sure, using a small graduated strip, the level of albumin in your urine.
  • The analysis of your urine is also used to look for a possible anomaly of the sugar level. In the case of maternal diabetes, the baby must sometimes be placed at birth in a specialized department to monitor any risk of hypoglycemia, a very transient disorder.
  • The blood test. If your file does not have a recent blood check, a blood test will confirm your blood group and platelet dosage, in case a blood transfusion is required.
  • Taking of temperature. It is used to verify the absence of infection that may contraindicate an epidural or require special precautions during delivery or even the onset of a Caesarean section.

What you can ask

  • Information on the progress of work, of course, but also news of your baby’s health. Because it is not forgotten during this examination. The midwife listens to the beating of her heart with an accoucheur stethoscope, a metal device that looks like a trumpet, or through monitoring.
  • Monitoring is a belt that surrounds your belly. It is surmounted by two sensors in the form of small saucers, connected to a device equipped with a printer. Throughout the delivery, she will measure and record the frequency of contractions of the uterus, the heartbeat of your baby and her reaction to the contractions to verify that all is well. The midwife will regularly check the chart and make sure your toddler is supportive of the events. A long and significant slowing may be a sign of fetal distress, requiring further examination and, if necessary, caesarean section.

What there is to know

If the job has not started (your cervix is not open), everything is all right or just a false alarm, you may be asked to go home Until the occurrence of active labor. If you live far away or if the midwife feels very worried, it is entirely possible to ask to stay at the maternity.


  • Is the work still in its infancy? You will be staying in a room or a rest room. In some small maternity wards, these “waiting rooms” do not exist and you can be taken to the birth room right away.
  • The dilation of your cervix reaches 2 to 3 cm? Your contractions are becoming more frequent (every 3 to 4 minutes)? Do they last from 30 seconds to 1 minute? You will then be taken to the birth room. For reasons of asepsis, you will probably have to wear a blouse, and the dad put on shoes.
    What’s going to happen
  • In the restroom. Here you will only wait until the contractions pull the cervix upwards, causing it to shorten until it completely fades gradually … The midwife who will visit you, about every hour, Will be informed of this progress. If your contractions are spaced, and the monitoring is not continuously connected, you can ask to stand up and even walk a little in the corridor (unless you have lost water).
  • You can take positions that are convenient for you: crouching, back on the pillows, etc. From then on, “abstain from eating and drinking to be able to undergo general anesthesia if necessary,” says Dr. Yvon Chitrit. As soon as the midwife judges that the childbirth is approaching, you will change neighborhood: the direction the birth room.
  • In the delivery place. Upon arrival, the midwife or nurse will give you an infusion that will be maintained at least two hours after your delivery. In most cases, this intravenous catheter diffuses a glucose serum, which helps to sustain a prolonged effort. It also makes it possible to intervene quickly if a blood transfusion is necessary or if you need to inject medicines. To accelerate the work, it is sometimes necessary to inject oxytocin, hormone increasing the effectiveness of the contractions. Do not worry, this perfusion placed on the forearm or the hand leaves free the movements of the arms.

What you can ask

The laying of the epidural if you have not yet said you want it … or if you have changed your mind. It is possible to wait until the cervix has a dilatation of several centimeters to ask for it. When performed too early, the epidural sometimes slows contractions. Too late, it may not have time to act and also be more careful to ask.

What there is to know

If the rupture of the pouch has not occurred, the midwife may provoke it. Not painful, this has the advantage of making contractions more effective. In the birth room, you will probably be shaved either side of the labia majora to facilitate the suture in the case of episiotomy.

  • But for now, you have just arrived. Relax, concentrate on your sensations, rely on the future dad or the person who accompanies you … From now on, take advantage of what you learned during the preparation sessions at birth, a real passport Useful to keep the mind serene as soon as you enter the maternity … and for the continuation of the childbirth.