Delivery at the Hospital

Congratulations! You have survived pregnancy, having carried your baby to this point. As you close in on your estimated date of delivery (EDD) or planned date if you’re having a baby through cesarean delivery, you’re probably ticking items off your birth plan and organizing your hospital bag if you choose to have your baby  at a birthing centre

Let us look a little deeper at what you can expect when you finally walk into the hospital.

Going into Labour

Look out for these labour signs before calling your doctor or checking yourself in if you are going into the public/general wing:

    • Contractions – Spaced around 5 minutes apart and lasting between 40 -60 seconds
    • Broken waters – If you have leaking amniotic fluid
    • Blood stained discharge

If on call, your doctor should be able to advise you whether to go in or not. If you’re going public, be ready to sent back home if the doctor feels that you’re not ready for admission yet.

Arriving at the Hospital

Having a private doctor means that by the time you are walking into the hospital, your arrival will be anticipated. 

On the other hand, if you are having a baby in the general wing, you will likely be advised, and perhaps offered a list of things to prepare to make your admission a smooth process. Check out what you need to carry in your hospital bag here.

Expect a number of tests including:

  • Your blood pressure
  • Temperature
  • Pulse
  • Dilation (How much your cervix has opened) for vaginal delivery

The baby will be checked for: 

  • Position – (if baby is in breech or if his head has dropped into the birth canal for vaginal delivery)
  • Heart rate – Your baby needs to have a steady heart rate 

At this point, should there be concerns with your tests, you may have to be progressed (rushed) through labour or taken in for an emergency cesarean.

Elective/Planned Cesarean

If having a baby through an elective/planned cesarean, your birth plan should clearly indicate whether you want to be awake and aware during delivery or unconscious.  Read more about cesarean delivery here

Since you most likely checked in at 39weeks, you will proceed to the theater for delivery.

Let’s, however, not rule out any possibility of labour catching up with you before it’s time. If this or any other complications occur, then you may have to go in for an emergency cesarean.

In the Delivery Room

In vaginal delivery, these tests will be checked constantly as you progress in labour. Remember to check with your doctor about your birth plan and any pain relief available for you. Read about vaginal birth process here.  

Recovering in the Maternity Ward

With your baby right beside you, or resting in your arms, depending on your birth plan, you will be transferred to the maternity ward. 

Here you and your new baby will be monitored for two days if you delivered vaginally and 3- 4 days if you had a cesarean delivery. 

Once the doctor is satisfied with your recovery, and the pediatrician, and nutritionist are happy with your baby’s feeding and overall health, you are now ready to leave the hospital. 

Some issues may, however keep you in the hospital much longer. These include:

  • Premature babies
  • Complications during and after birth
  • Baby not latching or feeding well

Initially there were cases of mothers stuck in public hospital wards for lack of finances. This has, however, changed with the free maternity care and the Linda Mama program in Kenya, offered in all public maternity unit s.



#Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

#Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.


Last reviewed January 2019

Sources: babycentre, whattoexpect, thebump

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