Ready to Deliver

In the last several weeks before delivery, your cervix starts to soften and thin out (effacing) and also begins to dilate. The thick plug of mucous that blocked the cervix during pregnancy may fall out. Streaks of blood are common, especially after cervical exams in the office. Losing your mucous plug is a non-specific occurrence and labor could happen either days or weeks later.

Once you have reached full term in your pregnancy, we will instruct you to proceed to labor and delivery if any of the following occur:

  • You have regular, painful contractions that have increased in intensity and frequency over time. Generally, contractions should be every 3–5 minutes (lasting 60 seconds) for 1–2 hours. Adjust that time frame if you are traveling a long distance to get to the hospital, if you have a history of rapid labor or if your cervical dilation is advanced (typically greater than 3cm).
  • You think you are leaking amniotic fluid.
  • You have any concerns regarding your baby’s movements.
  • You have bleeding in excess of bloody mucous.

Labor and Delivery at Baptist Health is on the second floor of the Women First office building at 3900 Kresge Way. When you arrive, proceed to the same the entrance when visiting our office and go to the second floor; no need to go through the emergency room. Once at the hospital, you will be evaluated by the labor nurse and we will be contacted.

Baptist Health Louisville

Women First delivers exclusively at Baptist Health Louisville, where nurses have a one-to-one ratio with laboring patients. Our anesthesia group offers 24-hour guaranteed coverage by a physician for epidurals. For those wishing to labor naturally, our nurses are incredibly supportive and well trained to help achieve your goal. Women First has mobile fetal monitoring to track your labor from phones or computers anywhere.

As a bonus for delivering your baby at Baptist Health, you may participate in Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center’s pre/postnatal exercise classes.

Baptist Health has four lactation specialists on staff, who will help you have a successful breastfeeding experience at no charge. Their FREE outpatient lactation clinic operates 5 days a week, so you can bring your baby in for weight checks and a consult with the lactation specialist.

Baptist Health has a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staffed 24/7 with neonatal specialists, supporting delivery of babies as early as 28 weeks. Should your baby remain in the hospital longer than anticipated, Baptist Health will make every effort to accommodate you with a room for as long as you need.

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