Dr Glenda McLaren
Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Labour and Delivery

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Labour and Delivery

At Bloom Women’s Health, we provide comprehensive labour and delivery services to ensure a safe and smooth birthing experience. Our dedicated team, led by Dr McLaren, is committed to prioritising the wellbeing of both mother and baby throughout this transformative journey.

Labour and Birth

Labour is a unique and natural process, typically occurring between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. While only about 5% of labours start spontaneously on the due date, it’s important to understand the signs of labour, including:

Spontaneous labour often begins with uterine contractions that increase in strength and frequency.

Your waters may break.

Spontaneous labour often begins with uterine contractions that increase in strength and frequency.

The ultimate birth plan is to ensure the safety and health of both mother and baby. If you’re uncertain whether you’re in labour, do not hesitate to contact your Obstetrician.

For more information about labour and birth, visit the Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Premature Labour

Full-term pregnancy typically lasts 40 weeks, and delivery before 37 weeks is considered premature. Approximately 7-10% of deliveries occur before 37 weeks, and premature babies can potentially face several potential complications, including immature lungs, infection, and cerebral palsy. The Mater Mother’s Private Hospital, where Bloom Obstetricians deliver, houses an exceptional Neonatal Critical Care Unit to provide specialised care for premature babies.

Before a premature birth, various treatments can improve health outcomes for prematurely born babies, including:

These can help improve babies’ lung maturity.

Administered to reduce the risk of neonatal infection.

Given intravenously to reduce the risk of cerebral palsy.

To slow down or reduce uterine contractions and extend the time for other medications to work.

Common signs of premature labour include vaginal discharge, bleeding, fluid loss, crampy lower abdominal pain, backache, and uterine contractions. If you experience any of these signs after 20 weeks of pregnancy, contact your Obstetrician or the Pregnancy Assessment Centre immediately.

Induction of Labour

Induction of labour, the process of stimulating uterine contractions, may be necessary when the benefits of delivery outweigh the risks of waiting for natural labour. Common reasons for inducing labour include conditions like pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, decreased fetal movements, bleeding at term, overdue pregnancies, and ruptured membranes, where the risk of infection increases the longer it takes for natural labour to commence.

Pain Control in Labour

During labour, various methods are available to cope with pain, including natural, non-medical, and medical options. Your Obstetrician will discuss these options with you and address your preferences during the course of your antenatal care.

Monitoring in Labour

Monitoring the condition of both the mother and baby during labour is essential to ensure they are responding normally to the challenges that labour presents. Typically, your baby’s heart rate and uterine contractions are monitored intermittently using a cardiotocograph, or CTG. In some cases, closer monitoring with continuous monitoring may be required to ensure the best outcome for both mother and baby.

Assisted Birth

Approximately 1 in 8 births may require assistance with instruments such as forceps or ventouse. The choice of instrument depends on the clinical situation, with most Obstetricians preferring ventouse. Assisted births are performed when necessary, ensuring the safety of both mother and baby.

Breech Birth

Around 4% of babies are positioned ‘breech’ (bottom first) at term. The safety of a vaginal breech birth depends on the specific presentation of your baby. Your Obstetrician will discuss your options and guide you in making an informed choice.

Caesarean Section

Approximately 30% of babies are born by Caesarean Section, often for safety reasons in various situations, such as placenta praevia, footling breech presentation, transverse lie, cord prolapse, vasa praevia, antepartum hemorrhage, placental insufficiency causing fetal growth restriction, and twin-twin transfusion. Some women may choose to have a Caesarean Section for other reasons, emphasising the importance of informed choices in childbirth.

While recovery after a Caesarean Section can be very good these days, it’s essential to be aware of the risks associated with multiple Caesarean Sections. The planned mode of delivery will be discussed with you throughout your pregnancy, taking into consideration the progress of your pregnancy and the safety of you and your baby.

Vaginal Birth After Caesarean Section

Vaginal Birth after Caesarean Section (VBAC) may be an option for you if it’s safe to do so. This option comes with its own set of risks and benefits, which will be discussed with you during your pregnancy. Dr McLaren and her experienced team are well-equipped to manage labors after a Caesarean Section, ensuring the wellbeing of both you and your baby.

Water Birth

The Mater Mothers’ Private Hospital offers a range of birthing options, including water births. They have two rooms with birth pools and one inflatable birth pool for women who choose water births, provided it is safe to do so. Other rooms have baths for water immersion during labor, and all rooms are equipped with showers, which are also effective in helping with relaxation during labor.

Our comprehensive labour and delivery services aim to provide expectant parents with essential information and support for a safe and fulfilling birthing experience. We address various aspects of labour, delivery, and birth options to help you make informed choices that prioritise the wellbeing of both mother and baby.

Read more about the water birthing options at the Mater Mothers’ Private Hospital in Brisbane.

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