Observations in Labor

Some of the things your care team is observing about you (and you can read about these in your labor progress notes in your medical chart, which is worth getting a copy of for a fun birth timeline!)

- Your behavior, activity level, and emotional state during and between contractions.
- The frequency, intensity, and duration of your contractions.
- How you assess your pain (most hospitals use a 0 to 10 pain scale.)
- Vagina secretions.
- Labor progress (combo of above.)
- Vital signs: pulse, temperature, respiration, blood pressure.
- Fetal heart tones (using doppler or external fetal monitoring strips.)
- Tone of uterus and amount of bleeding postpartum.
- APGAR, baby's temperature, respiration, pulse.
- Baby's general behavior, physical appearance, and state of alertness.

Specific to your amniotic sac breaking:
- color: brown or green indicates meconium
- amount: leak or gush
- odor: smell can indicate infection

(Notes paraphrased from The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin.)

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