Hesperian Health Guides

When to go to the birth

Every day 20,000 people visit the HealthWiki for lifesaving health information. A gift of just $5 helps make this possible!

Make a giftMake a gift to support this essential health information people depend on.

HealthWiki > A Book for Midwives > Chapter 9: Getting ready for labor and birth > When to go to the birth

MW Ch9 Page 151-2.png

You should go to the mother when any of these things happen:

  • labor contractions begin
  • the bag of waters breaks
  • the mother feels she needs you

If you go to a birth and find the mother is in very early labor (and you live nearby), it is usually OK to go home for a while. Ask the mother to call for you when labor gets stronger. But before leaving, consider these questions:

  • Is this a first baby? Labor is usually longer for a first baby.
  • Were the woman’s past births fast or slow? If a past birth was fast, she may have an even faster birth this time.
  • How far away is medical help?

This page was updated:11 Sep 2019