Getting ready to have your baby

When should you go to the hospital

All future moms ask about the right time to go to the hospital, especially when it’s a first pregnancy. If you leave too early, the doctor or midwives may ask you to go back home and if you leave too late, you’re afraid your baby will be born on the way to the hospital! Certain signs let you know that it’s time to get in the car:

  • If you’ve been having painful, regular contractions that are close together (every 10 minutes or less) for two or more hours.
  • If you’re leaking fluid, even if you don’t feel any contractions. That could mean that your waters have broken. You should get to the hospital within two hours; your discharge will be analyzed to determine whether or not it’s amniotic fluid.

Whatever stage of pregnancy you are in, you should also go the hospital or immediately contact your doctor if one of the following occurs:

  • Bleeding.
  • Severe vomiting.
  • If you have begun to feel your baby move, a sudden lack of movement that lasts more than 24 hours.
  • A fever over 100.5°F (38°C).
  • A fall or sudden trauma to the stomach.

To learn more about this subject, please see our fact sheet, “When to get immediate help during a pregnancy”.

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