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Nine Months : Admission to hospital

Once you reach the hospital (in most cases, after having spoken to the midwife in the labour ward over the phone), you will report to the labour ward reception.

* You will be shown to a labour room where a midwife will enquire about your contractions etc.

* You will be asked to change into a hospital gown or into your own clothes for labour

* A few routine checks will be carried out - blood pressure, temperature, pulse, listening to the baby's heartbeat.

* The baby's heartbeat may even be recorded for a while to see if all is well.

* An internal examination will be carried out to determine the degree of dilation

* If you are less than 3 cms dilated, progress is slow and all is well with you and the baby, you may be sent home and told to come back when contractions get stronger. It all depends on the midwife or the hospital policy. Some may transfer you to the antenatal ward so that your contractions can be monitored.

* If you are 3 cms or more dilated, you may be asked to remain in the labour ward or if beds are limited, you may be transferred to the antenatal ward.

* Once all the routine checks are completed, you can shower or have a bath to ease your contractions

* You will be given internal examinations every now and then to determine how much progress you have made.

* Your partner can stay with you all the while that you are in the labour ward.

* However, if you are transferred to the antenatal ward, your partner will be allowed to stay only during the day. At night, he will be asked to go back home. He will be informed once you are transferred to the labour ward for delivery and he can join you there once again. This arrangement depends on the hospital policy and may vary from one hospital to another.

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