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Contacting us during labour

When you call us for your delivery, always call telephone number 06-51576755 (please note: our 06 number is not equipped to receive SMS/text!). This way you will be in contact with the midwife on call directly. If your telephone call is not answered, either the line or the midwife is busy. Please try again in 10 minutes or, if you cannot wait, call the Ata: 020-5923868. Ata is a service company that will take in your call. They can than reach us on another line so that we can return your call as soon as possible.

We expect the delivery to take place between 37 and 42 weeks, most often in the week after the due date. If you go into labour before week 37 please call us right away. On average a first delivery takes between 12 to 24 hours. Subsequent children will often come quicker, resulting in a quicker delivery. In about 90% the delivery starts with contractions. In about 10% the delivery starts with the breaking of the waters.

If your waters break, try to catch some of it in a cup or glass and judge the colour. If this does not work you can put a sanitary napkin from your maternity package (kraampakket) in your underwear and judge the colour of the amniotic fluid that way.

Call us right away (even during the night) if the amniotic fluid has a green or brown colour.

Call us during daytime (between 08.00-23.00) if the amniotic fluid is clear. Clear in this case means the fluid is whitish from mucus or flakes or a bit pinkish because of a little blood loss.

If your water has broken and you don’t have (m)any contractions, please take your temperature every 4 to 6 hours. This has to be done rectally. If you have a temperature of 38℃ or above you need to call us. Do not take a bath with broken waters if you do not have strong contractions, do not use tampons and do not have sex.

If the head of the baby has not yet engaged in the pelvis and your waters break please lie down and call us. The midwife will tell you during your consultation if this applies to you.

If the labour starts with contractions, they will mostly be irregular and short (10-30 seconds) for a while at first. As long as the contractions are irregular they could be ‘practice contractions’ (Braxton-Hicks contractions) that can go away again. If the labour really continues the contractions will become regular and start to build up. Each contraction will take more time and the breaks between contractions will get shorter. With a first delivery it is usual to count on the labour really having started when you have contractions every 3-5 minutes that last about a minute or longer for a period of 2 hours. On average women have about 2 to 3 cm of cervical dilation at that moment. For a lot of women that is a good time to call us for a visit from the midwife. If you do not feel the need to contact us at that point it is fine to wait until you do feel that need. If you feel the need to contact us before that point that is fine too.

For a second or subsequent child you can usually assume that you are really in labour when your contractions are 5 minutes apart and have a duration of a minute or longer. Often women have a clearer sense of what is happening during a subsequent delivery. As a result it often is easier for you to determine when you need us.

It is normal to lose some blood during the contractions. This often starts (like a period) with some brownish blood, often also slimy and later on more clear red blood. Please contact us if you lose more blood in 30 minutes than your sanitary napkin can absorb.

In the last couple of weeks of the pregnancy you can lose the mucus plug (show). This can really be a plug but usually it is more like mucous discharge. With this discharge there can be a little bit of blood, but that is nothing to be startled about. The mucus plug indicates that you have entered the last phase of the pregnancy. Sometimes the delivery starts soon after, but often this can take another week or more to happen.

It is also important to pay attention to the movements of the baby in the last couple of weeks of the pregnancy. Often the movements become softer en less big because the baby has less space to move. We want you to feel your baby move like you are used to, maybe softer, but not less frequently. When in doubt, lie down on your left side for two hours and consciously make contact with your baby to see if there is a reaction to that. If you feel much less movement than normal or less than 10 movements in those two hours, please contact us.

Always call us if you are worried! Being worried is not helpful during childbirth and many questions are easily answered by us.

After the delivery your postnatal week begins. The first hours after the birth we will keep as quiet as possible. The baby is lying skin to skin on the mothers chest. This skin to skin contact is very important, because it calms the baby and triggers the breastfeeding hormone in the mother. We advise you to often have skin to skin contact in the first weeks and to keep the baby close to you at all times. This way you get to know your baby well and that promotes the success of breastfeeding. We advise against using a pacifier, because the it tires the baby and makes you miss the feeding signals.
In the green book from the kraamzorg you will find useful information and tips.
Rest is very important in the postnatal week. You have to recover from your pregnancy and birth and the breastfeeding has to start. The nurse (kraamzorg) will come by every day for the first week to do medical checkups and to help you with the new baby. We will also come to visit you a couple of times in the first week. If you have any questions or worries, you can call us on the 06 number.