Labor Labor starts with contractions or the rupture of fetal membranes, i.e. the waters breaking. Please always call your maternity hospital before arrival. You should come to the hospital when contractions come regularly less than ten minutes apart, last for approximately a minute, and feel so intense and painful that you are only able to focus on the contraction. Before the start of actual labor, contractions have usually already lasted for several hours. If you are exhausted by irregular premonitory pains or they prevent your rest, or you need tips on how to treat contraction pain at home, please call the hospital for advice. You can also call if you are unsure about whether labor has begun. If you suspect that your waters have broken, place a sanitary pad and monitor the situation. If the fetal membranes have ruptured, amniotic fluid will leak into the pad. After the waters have broken, you can often still wait at home for contractions to begin. However, please call the hospital first to get instructions from the midwife. For the majority of mothers, labor will start within 24 hours of the time when the waters have broken, but you should come to hospital earlier than this. Before you arrive at the hospital, please fill out the form Thoughts about the Coming Delivery and print it out for taking with you. We aim to have a midwife accompany any cases of childbirth on the road in Lohja and Västra Nyland to support the paramedics. Thoughts about the Coming Delivery (pdf 123.28 KB) (opens in new window) Emergency services during pregnancy and labor , hus.fi We take care of deliveries at Women's Hospital and Espoo, Hyvinkää, and Lohja hospitals. Read more Please contact your maternity hospital in these exceptional circumstances You have heavy bleeding Note: Slight mucous discharge with some blood in late pregnancy in connection with pre-labor contractions is normal. If the bleeding is quite heavy, call an ambulance (112) Severe persistent pain Note: If the pain is very severe and accompanied by bleeding or the need to push, call an ambulance (112) Waters breaking and special situations Bloody or green amniotic fluid The baby is in a breech position Your pregnancy is a multiple pregnancy Changes in fetal movements If the fetus does not move normally in the uterus Sudden other symptoms Severe headache, visual disturbances, upper abdominal pain or severe itching e.g. on the soles of the feet, palms, or abdomen Interpreting service If necessary, you are entitled to an interpreter service during your treatment. The interpreter may be present at the hospital or interpret via telephone. When you arrive at the hospital, please inform the personnel taking care of you, if you need an interpreter. What to bring to hospital? Please always take along your maternity health clinic card (neuvolakortti) and a photo ID any medication you take regularly equipment for personal hygiene, such as toothbrush and tooth paste, deodorant, shampoo, etc. clothes for yourself and the baby if you are planning on transferring to the Family Nest Hotel after giving birth If you wish, you can also take comfortable, casual clothes if you want to wear your own clothes in the hospital (such as dressing gown, leisure outfits) non-slip indoor shoes camera relaxing music thermal packs etc. something to eat for the support person, as well as comfortable clothes and shoes lip balm nursing bra nursing pads carrier sling reusable cloth diapers if you want to use them with your baby from the beginning (you will also have to wash them yourself) For going home (the person picking you up can bring these): baby clothes and child car seat clothes for the mother Please leave any valuables, such as jewelry and other valuable items at home. The labor process Latency stage Labor is often preceded by irregular, sometimes even quite painful contractions, which can last for several days with first-time mothers. This is called the latency stage. The latency stage is often possible also when the waters have broken. An important task of the latency stage is to ripen the cervical canal of the uterus for childbirth. In this case, the best and safest place to wait for labor to start is at home. You cannot speed up or slow down the latency stage yourself. Therefore, it is useful to rest between contractions and relax and gather strength for labor. Do things that feel comfortable and good. In the early stages of labor, you can, for example, take a walk, perform everyday tasks at home, or take a nice and long warm shower. If you are very much in pain and tired due to prolonged contractions, call the hospital. A midwife can give tips on drug-free pain relief, provide support and, if necessary, you can get pain relief when you are in the hospital. When you arrive at the hospital, the midwife will meet you and check your baby's condition and the stage of labor. If your labor is just starting, you can have a discussion with your midwife on which option is best for waiting for your labor to begin. Labor is ongoing when contractions open the uterine orifice. They come regularly at intervals of less than ten minutes, last for about a minute, and are so strong that you need to focus on them. Support person for childbirth You can bring a support person who may be the father of the baby, your spouse, or other person close to you. If you arrive to give birth alone, the midwife will be there for you. The support person should take along comfortable clothes and something to eat. If your support person has an infectious disease, such as an upper respiratory tract infection, he or she can no longer accompany you for childbirth. A support person can make you feel better, for example, by massaging, encouraging, holding your hand, or just being present. The support professional has the opportunity to establish a relationship with the newborn from the very first few moments. If you cannot take the newborn into skin contact with you after the birth, your support person may hold the baby close to their skin. The support person may also participate in a planned Cesarean section. The support person can participate in the emergency Cesarean section if the situation so permits. You are free to photograph your own family during childbirth. However, not all members of our personnel wish to be photographed. We hope that you will respect this wish. In the delivery room When labor is in progress, we will take care of you in the delivery room. Together with the midwife, you can discuss your wishes regarding the childbirth and different pain relief options. The first stage of labor can take several hours. Please make yourself comfortable in the delivery room: you can find yourself a good position and relax by listening to music. If you wish, you can take your own pillow with you and some small, easy-to-store and digestible snacks you may want. Pain relief will be provided on the basis of your wishes and needs. Our midwife will monitor the well-being of you and your baby and the progress of labor during childbirth. The midwife uses, for example, the fetal heartbeat and uterine contractions, as well as external examination and bimanual pelvic examination in the monitoring. The second stage of labor begins when the uterine orifice is fully dilated (10 cm) and the child's presenting part, head or buttocks, has lowered. At this point, you will feel a strong pressure and a need to push. Sometimes you have to wait for the baby’s presenting part to lower down in the canal and the need to push to start, even if the uterine orifice is fully dilated. The second stage of labor lasts for approximately 30–90 minutes. You can push in many positions, and we recommend that you try what feels natural to you already before the start of this stage. For example, you can use a mattress, an exercise ball, or a birth stool. The midwife will assist you in this. The support person can also help you in finding a good birthing position. The second stage of labor ends with the birth of the baby. After delivery We will lift a newborn in good condition into skin contact with you. The support person may cut the umbilical cord if he/she wishes. Skin contact helps the newborn to adapt to life outside the womb, and in skin contact, the baby will also begin to seek to nurse. As a rule, the baby is ready to nurse for the first time after about an hour after birth. After the birth of the baby, the uterus continues to contract, and usually within an hour after the baby is born, the soft placenta is delivered. The emergence of the placenta is the final stage of childbirth. If an incision has been made in the perineum or it has teared a bit during the delivery, we will suture any injuries after the placenta has been delivered. Before being transferred to the maternity ward, the midwife will examine, measure, and weigh the baby. All newborns also receive a vitamin K injection, which will boost the coagulation factor metabolism of the baby and prevents any internal bleeding. In the delivery room, it is possible for you and your support person to get something to eat, before being transferred to the maternity ward. You also have the opportunity to take a shower. On the maternity ward, a midwife or a pediatric practical nurse will have a discussion with you to go through your delivery. If something about the delivery continues to bother you, you can always contact the hospital from home. Elective Cesarean section We perform elective or planned Cesarean sections, for example, due to the baby being in a breech position or if there is a disproportion between the size of the baby and the mother’s pelvis. If you are coming for a planned Cesarean section, we will prepare you for surgery and check the condition of the fetus first thing on the morning of the surgery. The Cesarean section may have to wait depending on the situation in the operating room. When the operating room is ready, our midwife will escort you and your support person to the surgical ward. We will place an i.v. line on your hand and a catheter in your bladder. We do most of the planned Cesarean sections under spinal or epidural anesthesia. We will wash the surgical site and protect it with sterile drapes. The baby will be born in about 10 minutes, after which you and your support person can see the baby. The midwife will then examine the newborn’s condition and, if necessary, we will call a pediatrician. If the baby is doing fine, we will place him on your chest in skin contact. Also the support person can take the baby in skin contact. To prepare for this, the support person should bring a shirt that can be opened at the front. At the same time, the operation will move forward. We will squeeze the placenta out and clean the uterus. We will close the skin either using sutures or staples. After the operation, we will be monitoring your status in the recovery room for about two hours. Later, the midwife will measure and weigh the newborn. All newborns also receive a vitamin K injection, which will boost the coagulation factors of the baby and prevent any internal bleeding. When you are transferred from the recovery room to the maternity ward, we will help you place the baby in skin contact with you and assist you in the first breastfeeding. We will monitor your recovery and pay special attention to pain management. You will be able to get up on your feet on the same day, if your condition allows this. You can take a shower the next day. It is possible for a mother who is feeling well to be discharged after a trouble-free Cesarean section as early as 24 hours after the operation. In most cases, discharge is possible on the second or third day. On the maternity ward There are family rooms in all the maternity wards at HUS maternity hospitals. The family rooms cannot be reserved in advance. The rooms are intended for families where the support person can be present throughout the ward stay. Our personnel will be available 24 hours a day. It is worth noting that we cannot always arrange for a family room, for example, if there are a lot of patients on the wards. All our hospitals also have rooms for more than one mother and newborn. In addition, the Women's Hospital also has salon rooms for those who have given birth and are in good condition. The rooms provide a space where the mothers and babies are cared for after birth for six hours before going home or being transferred to the Family Nest Hotel. In Helsinki, in the vicinity of Women's Hospital there is a Family Nest Hotel (Scandic Hotel Meilahti), which has 19 family rooms and 24-hour nursing staff. You can transfer to the Family Nest Hotel from the salon room after a normal vaginal delivery and monitoring, if you and your baby are feeling well and neither of you need to have any demanding special monitoring. After the delivery, the midwife will discuss with you what your wishes are regarding postpartum care. The discussion will also go through the medical and nursing point of view on what would be the best place of care for you and your baby. The decision on the place of care will be made with you individually only after childbirth. Discharge from the maternity hospital The date of discharge after childbirth is individual, and depends on the condition of the mother and baby. The average stays on the ward after childbirth are approximately 1.5–2 days for first-time mothers 1–2 days for mothers who already have children 1–3 days for mothers who have given birth by Cesarean section. A mother who has given birth before and a newborn who are in good condition, can already be discharged 6–24 hours after giving birth. Those who have been discharged to outpatient care have a follow-up visit on the hospital's maternity ward 3–5 days after giving birth. Appointments for postpartum women and the midwife’s house calls At the appointment clinic for postpartum women, we provide care and guidance to families of newborns after discharge from the hospital. If your baby needs a follow-up appointment during the first two weeks, for example, due to early discharge, jaundice, weight monitoring, or hearing tests, we will make an appointment before your discharge either at the maternity hospital or the midwife making house calls. We can also book a remote appointment or a home visit, if you need guidance on breastfeeding or reducing the use of complementary milk. If your baby is discharged at the age of less than 24 hours, the pediatrician will re-examine the baby at the maternity hospital at the age of 2–5 days. Midwife's house calls are available for those who have given birth at Women's Hospital or in the hospitals of Espoo and Lohja. A house call can be reserved as a follow-up appointment after an early discharge, for weight monitoring or short breastfeeding guidance during the first two weeks of the baby's life. You can inquire about the possibility of a midwife's house call when you leave the hospital. Our midwives travel by car, so you need to get a parking space for the car for the duration of the visit. Due to this, house calls to Helsinki city center will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The service is available in Finnish, Swedish, and English. The midwives of Women's Hospital and Espoo Hospital make house calls in the Espoo, Kauniainen, Helsinki, Vantaa, and Kirkkonummi areas. In Lohja, midwives make house calls to areas that are located up to a 30-minute drive from Lohja Hospital. Pets are requested to be placed in another room for the duration of the visit. A midwife's house call is not a substitute for a house call conducted by the child health clinic (neuvola) which has a more extensive content and concerns the well-being of the whole family. Please book a home visit from your child health clinic at the latest when you are leaving the maternity hospital. Premature childbirths Women's Hospital: all deliveries of babies born before week 32 of pregnancy Espoo Hospital: deliveries of babies born in week 32 and later Hyvinkää and Lohja hospitals: deliveries from pregnancy week 35 and later Each HUS maternity hospital has a pediatrician on call round the clock and a neonatal ward, pediatric ward or monitoring unit where the newborn can be treated after birth. Extremely premature infants in need of intensive care are taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Saari at Women's Hospital. Parents are encouraged to be present and take part in the care of their baby from the very beginning. The nurses help and give advice in taking care of the baby. Newborn Pediatrician's examination and screening tests in the maternity hospital The pediatrician will examine the newborn before discharge from the hospital at approximately 1–2 days of age. Children examined when under 20 hours of age will be invited for a re-examination. The physician will examine the baby and check the data on the mother's health, the pregnancy and labor and on the baby's condition immediately after the delivery and during the monitoring on the ward. In the examination of a newborn, the physician will... evaluate the baby’s general condition, color, muscle tone, irritability, and primitive reflexes, such as gripping and Moro reflex assess the external features and skin auscultate the heart and lungs feel the femoral arteries examine the red reflex, oral cavity, palate, cranial sutures, and fontanels palpate the abdomen, kidneys, and other internal organs check the hips and external genitalia. To rule out congenital hypothyroidism, we take a blood sample from the umbilical cord of each newborn immediately after birth, and we use the sample to perform a thyroid-stimulating hormone assay (TSH) which represents the status of thyroid function. In addition, with parental consent, we will take a screening blood sample (VasSeu1) for all newborns at the age of 2–5 days to screen for metabolism disorders. The test is performed to screen for rare, hereditary congenital metabolic and immunodeficiency diseases that are difficult to diagnose, but for which treatment exists. For screening, the baby's heel will be pricked to obtain a blood sample for testing. If you are still in the hospital, our nurse will take a sample on the ward. If you have already discharged from the hospital, the sample is most often taken by a midwife during a house call. If you want, you can also visit a HUSLAB laboratory to provide the sample. At the laboratory, please be prepared to provide your baby's personal identity code, which they already received in the hospital. You can find the personal identity code on the child's hospital bracelet, on the documents printed for you upon discharge from the hospital, or online in the My Kanta pages. Before you are discharged, we will also examine the baby's hearing (hearing test). If anything abnormal is detected in the check-up or screenings, the baby will be referred to further follow-up or necessary treatment. Laboratory sampling points after discharge Tullinpuomi laboratory Women’s Hospital laboratory New Children’s Hospital laboratory Jorvi Hospital laboratory Hyvinkää Hospital laboratory Lohja Hospital laboratory Raasepori Hospital laboratory Porvoo Hospital laboratory BCG vaccination In accordance with the Finnish national vaccination program, children under 7 years of age who are at an increased risk of tuberculosis infection are entitled to free BCG vaccination. The National Institute for Health and Welfare determines who belongs to the risk group. The baby’s need for vaccination will be checked during your visits to the prenatal clinic during your pregnancy or at the latest on the maternity ward at the hospital. We give the BCG vaccine to babies born in HUS, and belonging to a risk group, at the hospital’s outpatient clinic at the age of 2–3 weeks. Service locations Pediatric Outpatient Clinic, New Children's Hospital Neonatal Appointments L2, Jorvi Hospital Pediatric Outpatient Clinic, Hyvinkää Hospital Maternity Outpatient Clinic, Lohja Hospital Further information Videos: From childbirth to newborn care and postpartum recovery We have YouTube videos where our midwives provide information on childbirth, discharge from the hospital, and on the first days home with the baby. In labor YouTube: Onset of labor YouTube: Dilation stage YouTube: Childbirth YouTube: Spinal and epidural anaesthesia YouTube: Breech delivery YouTube: Vacuum-assisted delivery YouTube: C-section YouTube: Delivering twins At the maternity ward YouTube: Postnatal care in maternity ward YouTube: Baby's special care YouTube: Baby's examination by a paediatrician Recovery, discharge, and caring for the newborn YouTube: Returning home from the maternity ward YouTube: Recovery after pregnancy and childbirth YouTube: Recovery from delivery YouTube: Recovery after a C-section YouTube: First days with a newborn YouTube: Taking care of a newborn Baby journey – Guide to a new mother We will give your family a Baby Journey Guide at the maternity ward. If you wish, you can read the guide here beforehand. Baby journey – Guide to a new mother (pdf) (pdf 893 KB) (opens in new window) Treatment facilities Labor Ward In addition to the normal deliveries, the labor ward at Women's Hospital treats the most high-risk deliveries and extremely preterm births in the HUS area. Labor Ward 2S In the Maternity Unit of Lohja Hospital, we offer individual, high-quality care that is based on the wishes of the women giving birth, and is family… Labor ward In the labor ward of Espoo Hospital, we take care of deliveries and ensure the well-being of newborns. Maternity unit On the Hyvinkää Hospital labor ward, you can give birth starting from 35+0 weeks of pregnancy. The maternity unit comprises the Maternity Outpatient Clinic… Maternity Ward 61 On Women's Hospital's Maternity Ward 61 we treat women who have given birth and newborns after childbirth. We also provide guidance on caring for the baby… Ward 52 (pregnancy monitoring and postpartum) On Women's Hospital ward 52, we treat pregnant women and mothers and newborns after childbirth. Our ward also has outpatient clinic activities. Family Nest Hotel (after childbirth) Our popular Family Nest Hotel on the 2nd floor of Hotel Scandic Meilahti provides postpartum, individually designed care for healthy new mothers and their… Maternity Ward N6B (Family Nest) The Maternity Ward N6B in Jorvi Hospital is a maternity ward for those who have given birth. We offer individual guidance on taking care of your baby, and… Maternity wards N6C and N6E On Espoo Hospital's maternity ward, we treat women who have given birth and newborns after childbirth. We also provide guidance on caring for the baby… Maternity Ward Our cozy ward in Lohja Hospital provides a peaceful place to get to know the baby during the first special days. We follow the Baby-Friendly Hospital… Gynecology and Obstetrics Inpatient Ward 2 In the Gynecology and Obstetrics Inpatient Ward at Hyvinkää Hospital, we treat gynecological patients, pregnant patients, and postpartum families. Appointments for postpartum women At the Jorvi Hospital appointments for those who have given birth, we provide advice and guidance to the families with newborns. We also make midwife's… Appointments for postpartum women At the appointment for those who have given birth at Women's Hospital, we provide advice and guidance to the families with newborns. We also make midwife's… Show all Related content Outpatient clinic appointments during pregnancy Clinic appointments during pregnancy mean early antenatal screening appointments, the monitoring of high-risk pregnancies in maternity outpatient clinics… Choice of maternity hospital and orientation visits Approximately 16,000 babies are born each year in the HUS hospitals. Almost a third of Finns are born in HUS hospitals. Neonatal care We provide care for newborn infants at all HUS maternity hospitals. Restrictions on visitations and appointments in Gynecology and Obstetrics Restrictions apply until further notice. In unclear situations, please contact the unit stated in your appointment letter for more information.