What to Expect

  • As your due date nears your baby settles deeper into your pelvis. You may feel increasing pressure on your bladder but less pressure on your diaphragm, relieving shortness of breath that you may have been experiencing.
  • Your cervix gradually softens, shortens, and becomes thinner in preparation for delivery, a process called "effacement" (also "ripening" or "cervical thinning").
  • You may experience Braxton Hicks contractions—irregular, unpredictable, nonrhythmic contractions.
  • Hours, days, or even weeks before labor, the mucous plug in the cervix is expelled. It will look clear, slightly pink or blood-tinged, and have a stringy or sticky texture.
Tips for the Well-Being of You and Baby
  • Early in labor, it is not necessary to rush to the hospital. Track your contractions.
  • Call your doctor when your contractions are about 8 minutes apart and last longer than 30 seconds.
  • When you go to the hospital, check in at Admitting, located just inside the main entrance on the third floor. (If you arrive between 8:30 pm and 6 am, use the Emergency Services entrance on the second floor.)
How Valley Medical Center Can Help
  • Our mom and baby rooms have state-of-the-art birthing beds and are fully equipped to ensure a safe delivery in a comfortable, homelike setting.
  • After you check in, you'll be taken to your personal mom and baby room, where your nurse will assess the condition of you and baby and review your birth plan.
  • For a vaginal birth, Valley Medical Center offers a range of options for managing pain during labor and delivery. Let us know how we can help—whether it's giving a massage, telling you more about what to expect, or offering medication.
  • If you are scheduled for a cesarean delivery, your support person will change into scrub clothing and you'll be taken to The Birth Center 30 minutes before your scheduled delivery time.
  • Whether your delivery is spontaneous or scheduled, we're eager to help make it special for you and your family.