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2-10. Time to Transport the Mother to a Hospital

To determine whether there is enough time to transport a woman having a normal delivery to the hospital, find out the following information:

  1. Has the patient had a baby before? Labor during a first pregnancy will usually be slower than in subsequent pregnancies.
  2. How frequent are the patient's contractions? If the contractions are more than five minutes apart, there is generally enough time to get to a hospital. If the contractions are less than two minutes apart, the baby will probably be born soon, especially if this is not the first pregnancy.
  3. Has the patient's amniotic sac ruptured? If so, when did it rupture? If the rupture occurred many hours ago, delivery may be more difficult. Also, the risk of fetal infection is increased.
  4. Does the patient feel an urge to move her bowels? This sensation during labor is caused by the baby's head in the mother's vagina pushing against the female's rectum. This sensation is another sign that delivery is about to take place.
  5. Is the part of the baby to deliver first crowning? Examine the mother externally for crowning (whether the presenting part of the baby is bulging out of the vagina). If crowning is taking place, the baby is about to be born, and there is no time to get to the hospital.

David L. Heiserman, Editor

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Revised: June 06, 2015