Childbirth Education

Childbirth Education

Coastal Women’s Healthcare now offers Childbirth Education classes to our patients. Classes are held one Saturday per month from 9am-1:30pm at Coastal. Please call to inquire about our next scheduled class.

Holly Logan is a Registered Nurse who has been a part of the nursing team at Coastal since June 2014. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2013 and has completed her childbirth educator certification through CAPPA, an international organization of doulas as well as childbirth and lactation educators. Holly currently lives Augusta with her husband and their dog, Stanley.

What Is Labor?

Labor is when the uterus contracts at regular times, and the cervix dilates (opens) and becomes thin. The uterus becomes hard with a contraction, and soft in between. Contractions cause pain in the abdomen that can wrap around into the low back. They will become closer together and more painful over time. Activity and movement will increase pain and discomfort. Labor can occur at any time, but usually starts between 37 to 41 weeks of pregnancy.

What are Braxton Hicks Contractions?

Braxton Hicks contractions are known as “practice contractions.” The abdomen will tighten and relax irregularly. They can be painless and uncomfortable, but should not be painful or regular. Braxton Hicks can increase with activity and dehydration, but do not increase in intensity or frequency over time. Braxton Hicks can resolve with hydration, rest, and emptying the bladder. We recommend calling the office if you experience more than six Braxton hicks in one hour (1 every 10 minutes).

Signs that your body is preparing for labor

These signs can occur hours, days, or weeks prior to labor:

• Low back cramping
• Loss of the mucous plug (clear, stringy vaginal discharge)
• Vaginal bleeding or spotting
• Frequent loose stools or diarrhea
• Lightening – “baby dropping”

If you experience any of the above symptoms prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy, please call the office and speak with a nurse for further evaluation.

What if my water breaks?

We recommend you call the office if you think your water has broken. Sometimes this can be a large gush of fluid, but it can also be a slow leak from the vagina. The fluid should be clear and odorless.

How do I reach the office when I’m in labor?

Please always call our office at (207) 885-8400. During normal business hours, you will reach a nurse who will advise you to come to the office, or go directly to Maine Medical Center. After normal business hours, you will reach the answering service and your call will be forwarded to the on-call physician. They will return your call promptly.