Labour and delivery
We recommend you visiting the maternity unit and labour ward at Mater Women’s and Children’s Hospital during your pregnancy. When you first arrive at the labour ward, you will be greeted by the midwife on duty and you will be assigned with a midwife to look after you during labour and support you. Dr. Kannan will be contacted as soon as your labour assessment is done by the midwife. You progress in labour will also be informed to Dr. Kannan regularly and as required. Dr. Kannan will visit you during labour if possible, as soon as any significant problems arise, or when your delivery is imminent. Even though, Dr Kannan might not be with you throughout your labour, she is ultimately responsible for you and your baby’s care. The midwives caring for you at Mater Women’s and Children’s Hospital are highly trained and skilled professionals who will keep Dr Kannan informed of your progress.
The following are only some of the symptoms of labour. If you have any other symptoms that are not listed or you are unsure, kindly contact Dr. Kannan immediately.
1. Regular painful contractions
2. Blood stained mucous discharge or “show”
3. Any fluid loss from the vagina or ruptured membranes
Other symptoms that will need Dr. Kannan’s attention:
1. Abdominal pain
2. Bleeding from the vagina
3. Headache not settling with simple pain relief and rest
There are circumstances where your labour might need to be induced. Some of these circumstances might be related to protect the health and well being of you or your baby or both. Examples are pregnancy induced hypertension, post term pregnancy and diabetes in pregnancy. Dr Kannan will discuss this with you if you need to be induced. The induction process involve assessing your cervix and deciding on the best form to induce you. This might involve inserting induction gel into the vagina or breaking your waters. You might need to started on a drip of syntocinon, the medication that assists to bring on your contractions. If you have any specific questions about induction, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Kannan.
Pain relief in labour is entirely your choice. There are various options available including gas, pethidine and epidural block. Dr Kannan recommends keeping an open mind about pain relief as it is difficult to know how one would cope during labour. An information leaflet is available for you on epidural at request from Dr Kannan’s rooms. If you would like to talk to an anaesthetist about any specific concerns you might have during your pregnancy, kindly discuss this with Dr. Kannan and she will be able to organise this for you.
When you first present in labour, you will have an initial electronic fetal monitoring. Monitoring may be discontinued when every thing is normal. However, intermittent fetal monitoring will continue throughout labour until delivery. Some circumstances require continuous monitoring, e.g you are having an epidural, syntocinon drip or twins.
Being a urogynaecologist, Dr. Kannan is very aware of the risks of adverse impacts pregnancy and childbirth leading to pelvic floor disorders such as urinary incontinence and prolapse. Sometimes, an episiotomy is performed if Dr Kannan thinks that the damage to your pelvic floor will be worse if one is not done. Similarly, there might be situations where you might need a ventouse or forceps delivery. If you have any specific concerns about any of the above, kindly discuss this with Dr. Kannan who would be more than happy to address your concerns.