Barnes-Jewish is dedicated to helping women prepare for their labor and delivery. Classes and Events offered year-round, such as Baby Care, Breastfeeding, and Childbirth, are rich resources for expecting mothers. Our Women and Infants department staff are here to keep you knowledgeable about what will happen on the day your baby comes.

Childbirth Education Classes


As an additional personal resource, you can call our answer line:314-362-MOMS (362-6667) Monday through Friday during regular business hours to be directed to various resources at Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's Hospitals.


As your pregnancy gets close to the due date, it can be very hard to wait. It may seem like you have been pregnant forever. You will notice changes during these last weeks and you may wonder, "Is this the big day?"

Changes you may notice:

  • Urinating more often
  • Increased backache
  • Increased discomfort in the pelvis, rectum or buttocks
  • Increased mucus discharge from your vagina; it may have red or brown blood streaks
  • Baby may "drop" down and your breathing may become easier
  • More frequent and sometimes painful contractions

As your contractions get stronger you may notice:

  • Contractions feel like they begin in your back and spread to your front
  • Contractions feel like they spread down your legs
  • Contractions do not go away when you walk or change position
  • Increased mucus with pinkish or bloody streaks
  • Diarrhea

Come to the hospital

  • As directed by your doctor
  • Anytime you have bright red vaginal bleeding
  • When your water breaks or if you notice a continuous leaking of fluids in your underwear
  • When you are having strong contractions every 5 minutes for an hour and you cannot walk and talk through contractions and between contractions you are not laughing any more.
  • If you think you may be in labor, please come to the Pregnancy Assessment Center on the 5th floor at Barnes-Jewish Hospital instead of the emergency department.

If any of the following occur, call your doctor right away:

  • Severe headache
  • Blurred vision or sparkling stars before your eyes
  • Severe stomach pain
  • Bright red vaginal bleeding
  • Marked decrease in baby's movement
  • A gush of fluid from your vagina or a continuous leaking of fluid in your underwear.

Preparing for Childbirth, Labor and Delivery

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by U.S. News & World Report

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