Going into labor is both exciting and scary – your biggest focus is ensuring the birth of a healthy baby, but there are so many unknowns. What can add more stress to the process? Bad weather. Going into labor during a snowstorm can certainly prove challenging. But if it should happen, here is our best advice to you:
- Make sure you are really in labor – call your doctor first before making any other moves. Review your symptoms with your doctor so that he or she can help you decide if it is time to go to the hospital.
- Know that if you are contracting every three minutes for at least two hours, if you are bleeding or experiencing any vaginal leaking, or if you are experiencing decreased fetal movement, it’s time to seek medical attention. Again, always call your doctor first to inform him or her of your symptoms.
- If your doctor decides it’s time for you to go to the hospital, call EMS for transport. This is a much safer option than having your partner, loved one or friend try to drive you to the hospital during inclement weather conditions.
Most importantly, don’t panic! Generally speaking, a majority of women experience several hours of labor before giving birth. You will most likely have plenty of time to get to the hospital before your baby is born. Staying as calm and collected as possible will help minimize complications and make your experience a lot easier and safer for all involved.
Dr. Thad McDonald and Dr. Angela Gantt are physicians with WakeMed Physician Practices – OB/GYN.