Labor and Delivery Care in Cedar Rapids, IA

What is Labor & Delivery?

Labor and delivery is the exciting time that is commonly used to describe the process of childbirth. When a woman is in labor, contractions of the uterus occur and the cervix changes to prepare a woman’s body to give birth. This is the opening of the uterus that allows the baby to be born.

Every woman experiences labor differently, based on her body and her baby. As your due date approaches, it is good to learn about the different types of labor as you prepare for delivery. The expertly trained obstetricians at Cedar Rapids Ob Gyn are here to help you through every stage of your pregnancy. Call (319) 363-2682 to request an appointment at our OB Gyn clinic in Cedar Rapids, IA.

There are three main types of labor:

Pre-term labor

  • More than three weeks before your due date
  • Menstrual-like cramps
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Low backache
  • New vaginal discharge, especially if red or pink
  • Pain/cramps every 10 minutes or less that do not subside after resting, drinking fluids or emptying your bladder
  • Contact your provider if you are concerned about pre-term labor

False labor

  • Contractions may be irregular
  • Pain will come and go
  • They subside or lessen when resting
  • They do NOT get stronger
  • No cervical change is noted when a provider or nurse completes a cervical exam

True labor

  • Contractions occur at a regular rate
  • Discomfort increases
  • You will have difficulty walking or talking through the contractions
  • Contractions do not subside when resting
  • Bloody show or vaginal discharge
  • Rectal pressure feeling as if you need to have a bowel movement

When Should I Go to the Hospital?

As you prepare for labor and delivery, the big question is when you will know it is time to go to the hospital. One way to know when you are progressing is to time your contractions.

  • How to time your contractions – Start with the beginning of your first contraction and measure the time until the beginning of your next contraction.
  • When to seek care – Typically with your first baby, once your contractions are five minutes apart or less, for a minimum of one hour, lasting at least a minute long.
  • Better safe than sorry – It is more important to seek medical care than to be worried about arriving too soon to the hospital. The peace of mind you receive from professional care will be worth it, so you can know how you are progressing.

When Will I Know it is Time for Delivery?

Delivery is the exciting time when your baby is ready to come into the world.

As your body progresses through true labor, it’s time for delivery.

Most babies are born somewhere around 40 weeks. As you attend your regular checkups, you will be monitored to see how your body is progressing and preparing for delivery.

  • Early term: Your baby is born between 37 – 38 weeks
  • Full term: Your baby is born between 39 – 40 weeks
  • Late term: Your baby is born at 41 weeks
  • Postterm: Your baby is born after 42 weeks

How Can I Prepare for Delivery?

Some things to keep in mind prior to delivery:

  • Scheduled Delivery – Sometimes a baby needs extra help, and you may not go into labor on your own. In this case, you may need to be induced or have a scheduled c-section (Cesarean section) depending on the health and position of the baby.
  • Be Prepared – You can have a tour of the hospital and facilities before you deliver your baby so you can be aware of the environment and feel comfortable when the time comes.
  • Communicate your needs – Be sure to talk to your nurses or staff when you arrive, especially if you are experiencing pain. It is important to communicate openly so your health can be properly monitored.

Establish a Birth Plan

Your birth plan can help you know what you’d like to have happen during delivery.

The staff can make special accommodations for you and know what your desires are.

For example:

  • who you would like to be in the room during delivery
  • if you wish to labor in a certain way
  • if you need additional items like a birthing ball, mirror, or music
  • what type of medications you prefer
  • your plan for holding the baby after delivery
  • any desires with cutting the cord or delivering the placenta

As you establish your birth plan, keep in mind that sometimes emergencies happen, and the health of the mom and the baby always take priority. Your OB Gyn is committed to helping you have the best delivery experience, in a safe and caring environment.

Types of Delivery

We are here to answer any questions you have prior to delivery. As you attend your regular checkups, you can talk to your OB Gyn if there is anything you may be worried about.

The common types of delivery include:

  • Vaginal delivery
  • Assisted vaginal delivery (vacuum or forceps)
  • C-section (Cesarean birth)
  • VBAC (vaginal delivery after cesarean birth)

You may have had a c-section with a previous child and may be interested in a VBAC, or a virginial birth after cesarean. In these cases, your OB Gyn can discuss the position of your baby, your health, the risks involved, and what to expect. Your OB Gyn may also need to use a vacuum or forceps if the position of the baby is such that it makes it difficult to deliver.

No matter which way the baby enters the world, it will be an exciting time. Your OB Gyn will have your best interest in mind throughout the process and always keep you monitored and well-informed throughout your labor and delivery experience.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

The expertly trained Obstetricians at Cedar Rapids OB Gyn are dedicated to providing exceptional labor and delivery care. They will take the time to answer any questions you may have before, during, or after delivery. Call (319) 363-2682 to request an obstetric appointment at our OB Gyn office in Cedar Rapids today.


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