It is natural for first time moms to feel anxious about labour and childbirth. Even the entire process of hospital admission, procedures in preparation for labour and the labour room environment can be quite intimidating. It always helps to know beforehand what to expect when you reach hospital in labour pain.
If you are planning to have a baby in UAE and considering a hospital delivery, you will be happy to know that most private hospitals in Dubai have excellent maternity units. If you have already booked a delivery package with one of them, you can request for a tour of the maternity unit and the labour room just to get familiar with the place. You can have a chat with the midwife or head nurse if you feel anxious about labour. You can also talk to them about the usual labour room procedures in preparation for your visit.
Once you reach the hospital either in labour or with your waters leaking, a midwife or nurse will attend to you. She will ask you questions about the frequency and strength of your contractions, feel your bump to assess the engagement and also perform an internal examination (with your permission) to check the dilatation of cervix. If you are still very early in labour, they might ask you to go back home and return only when your contractions become stronger and quicker. If your cervix is sufficiently dilated, you will be sent for admission.
Before you get admitted, you will be given some forms to fill. It is better to have your husband or any attendant with you who can complete the administrative formalities while you are taken into the room. Once admitted, you will be asked to change into a hospital gown or the clothes that you have carried from home for delivery. Your blood pressure, pulse and temperature will be noted down.
The midwife may also check your baby’s heartbeat with a fetal stethoscope or with EFM (Electronic fetal monitoring). Then you will be asked to give a urine sample to be tested for proteins and sugar, a sample of your blood will be taken for relevant tests.
As part of routine procedure at some hospitals, a nurse or midwife may ask you if you’d like to have an enema, especially if you haven’t had the natural urge to pass stools when labour sets in. During early stages of labour, your body releases a natural chemical that triggers your bowels to move naturally. But in some hospitals enema may be offered as an option to empty your bowels. It is however, not compulsory and most hospitals do not insist anymore on enema. Although Enema is not a highly recommended practice, some hospitals in UAE do offer the FLEET enema as an option. If you do not want to take an enema, you can always refuse to have one.
Once the above procedures are completed, you will be taken into the labour room. You may be asked to lie down on your back with pillows propped up or take up any comfortable position. You will also be given the option of using a gas inhaler to reduce the discomfort. Your midwife or nurse may do an internal examination to check the position of the baby and extent of cervical dilatation as you progress in labour . You are free to move around during early stages. Doctors will be available to regularly monitor you and your baby throughout the labour.