learn about labor at home and the most common pregnancy worriesWe hope that you found last week’s article about the benefits to laboring at home as long as possible to be helpful! Today, we’re sharing how exactly you can labor at home as long as possible before heading to the hospital.

Your goal is going to be to get to the hospital while in transition, or right before transition.  Here are 5 tips on how to do that:

1. Take a Quality Childbirth Class

This is the foundation to laboring at home as long as possible!  If you don’t know about pain coping methods, what your body’s doing, and the labor process, how in the world are you going to handle labor at home? After taking a good childbirth class series, you will have a solid understanding of how labor progresses and how to cope.

2. Hire a Doula

A doula has been present for many labors and is such a valuable asset for deciding when it’s time to head to the hospital. Typically, a doula can tell you in just minutes if it’s time to go or not.

3. Be Ready to Go!

Get 100% ready to go at a moment’s notice.  This means having your hospital bag all packed with anything you need, including your phone’s charger, pillows, a towel, toiletries, etc. Put this bag into your car, so it’s ready to go. That way once you decide to go to the hospital, everyone can just get in the car and go in a couple of minutes.

4. Time Your Contractions

Yes, there’s an app for that! It’s called Contraction Master, and you can download it for your Apple device. They also have a website, ContractionMaster.com. Timing contractions is a really useful thing to do when you’re deciding whether or not to go to the hospital! You’ll want to look at how far apart your contractions are.   If you’re hoping to labor at home as long as possible, you should leave home when your contractions are about three to four minutes apart. Look at how long each contraction is lasting.  During active labor, they’ll last around a minute, and during transition, they might last 90 seconds. Once your contractions are about three to four minutes apart and last 60 seconds or longer, it might be time to head to the hospital!

5. How’s Your Mood?

Are you feeling annoyed at people around you, even when you get a break between contractions? If your mood between contractions changes, it may be time to head to the hospital.

Also, are you texting people and posting on Instagram or Facebook? Then it’s probably not time just yet to head to the hospital. Once things get intense, you honestly won’t have the ability or brain power to use your phone. You’ll be focused on one task – to have a baby!


If you’re still not sure when to go to the hospital, try to slow or stop your labor. Take a bath, shower, nap or walk. If things stay the same or become stronger, it might be time to head to the hospital.

With all this said, sometimes you just know when it’s time to go to the hospital. If you get a gut feeling that it’s time, then listen to that voice!

Please note: the writers at Pregnancy Help Online aren’t medical professionals, and the info here isn’t intended as medical advice. Make sure to consult with your OB-GYN on these matters, too.