Frequently Asked Questions

Can you tell the gender of my baby by the baby's heart rate?
No. Some say that the baby's heart rate is an indication of the gender, but we have found that it is not an accurate indicator.

How long will I be in labor and when will my baby arrive?
Unfortunately, there is no way of answering this question. Every woman's labor is different, and there are many different variables that affect the length, effectiveness and time of your labor and delivery.

Will the epidural slow down my labor?
Sometimes, labor can go slower after an epidural. Because you are inactive, in bed, and not able to walk, it may slow down your labor. However, with some individuals an epidural may actually allow for relaxation. This relaxation may result in the baby moving more quickly through the birth canal. It is important to remember that while the epidural will take most of the pain away, you will still feel pressure from the baby moving through the birth canal.

When can I get my epidural?
An epidural is anesthesia that is placed in your back. It numbs your body from the waist down, and relieves most of the pain of labor. Different providers have different thoughts about when the epidural can be done. Some providers require a patient progress to four centimeters before they get the epidural. Others will allow for it sooner in labor. We suggest that you discuss this subject with your provider.

How do I know when it is time to push?
When you are fully dilated and the baby is in position, your body will tell you that it is time to push. The urge to push is natural and you may find your body doing it with no direction from you what-so-ever. At this point, as long as your are fully dilated, your nurse will help you through this final stage of labor.

How do I push effectively?
Use your abdominal muscles, positioning chin to chest, and take a deep breath and push, while pulling your legs up to your chest. This is the most effective way to help your baby advance through the birth canal.

Will the pain get worse as my labor progresses?
Yes. The pain of labor is something that can be controlled with relaxation techniques, medication, or by means of an epidural. You may also choose to practice Hypnobirthing, which is taught in a class prior to delivery. Any of these options are available in the Family Center to make your labor as comfortable as possible.

When will my milk come in?
The average length of time it takes for breast milk to come in is 3-5 days. This varies from one individual to another. If you have any questions, please feel free to call one of our Lactation Consultants at (603) 580-4324.