All about child birth

Motherhood is the most exciting journey that a woman undertakes out of which the most important chapter is the actual child birth. For all the moms-to-be who want more information about this process, here is some of what to expect.

  • Methods of Childbirth: There are a few different methods to birth your child. Vaginal delivery is the safest and most common type of childbirth. In some cases where a natural birth is not possible or there is a complication, a Caesarean delivery (C-Section) may be necessary for the safety of you and your baby.

 

  • Signs of Labor: A mother’s body starts preparing automatically for labor up to a month before birth. One of the things that may happen to your body in weeks before labor is a “lightening” feeling as if your baby dropped lower onto the pelvis making it easier to catch your breath. Another sign is that you may notice an increase in Braxton Hick Contractions which become relatively painful and more frequent. You may pass your mucus plug and the most common sign is that your water breaks.

 

  • Phases of Labor: A full term pregnancy is typically 40 weeks or 9 months in most cases. Once a woman reaches the end of third trimester of her pregnancy her body starts to ready itself for the actual event of the child birth. This process is typically divided into 3 stages
  1. Stage One- Early Labor: This stage is the longest but also the least intense. It can last over a span of several hours or weeks where the cervix starts to dilate to 3 centimeters and starts to thin out. You will experience mild to moderate contractions and they may be coupled with cramps and backache.
  2. Stage Two- Active Labor: At this stage your contractions will start to get stronger and longer. Active labor usually lasts two to three hours in most births. You would usually be at the hospital by this time. Your cervix dilates to 7 centimeters and your contractions increase in intensity every 3-4 minutes. If you have decided on a pain management plan, this would be the time to ask for an epidural to manage the pain. You will be hooked up to fetal monitoring and IV fluids to maintain your fluids.
  3. Stage Three-Transitional Labor (Advanced Labor): This stage is the most intense but fortunately the shortest lasting 15 minutes to an hour. Your cervix will dilate to 10 centimeters and once you are fully dilated your practitioner will guide you through the process of pushing you baby for birth.

 

  • Pushing and Delivery:

Once dilation is complete, it is time to help your baby pass through the birthing canal by pushing. Typically delivery takes about 30 minutes to an hour but it may be as short as a few minutes for lucky few. Once your baby has successfully been delivered the doctor or your partner will be able to cut the umbilical cord. The baby will be checked, cleaned up and wrapped in a blanket and given in your arms ready for you to love and cherish forever.

 

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