Labor and Child Birth

What is Labor and Child Birth?

Let’s help you know about Labor and Child Birth. In simple term, labor is the process of giving birth. Your baby is now ready to come into the world. It is a unique experience that tests a mother’s mental and physical stamina. Let’s understand the process in details.

Signs of labor

How to determine that you are going into labor? Well, there are some symptoms apart from contraction that helps you to understand.

  • Lightening- you may feel the pressure on your lower abdomen as the baby head comes down. This leads to the urge of frequent urination as the baby’s head is pushing on your bladder.
  • Bloody Discharge- Your mucus plug will come off as your cervix dilates leading to blood discharge.
  • Diarrhoea- Loose stool is a prominent sign of labour
  • Water breaking- Fluid leaking from your vagina. This is the amniotic fluid which indicates that the membrane of the sac that wrapped your baby has ruptured. You may go into labor withing 24 hours of water breaking. If you do not experience labor naturally, the doctor has to induce it.

Contraction tracking

As you go into labor, you must track your contractions. You must note how long each contraction lasts and the duration between each of them. You can understand the intensity when you cannot talk, laugh or walk during contractions.

Stages of labor and child birth

 The labor is divided into three stages. Stage 1, 2 and 3.

Stage 1

Early labor

It is the longest of all the three stages.  In the early labor you will start feeling mild contractions. Your cervix dilates to prepare for delivery. You might also see some bloody discharge. This is the mucus plug which blocks the cervical opening during pregnancy. Early labor is different in different women. It may last from hours to days. Try to relax. Go for a walk, take shower and listen to music. You may also try the breathing techniques you may have learnt in the pre-natal class.

Active labor

You will experience intense contractions during this phase. Your cervix will dilate up to 10 cm. Your water might break at this stage. This is the time to head for your delivery services. You will feel pressure on your lower back and rectum. Your healthcare team will tell you what to do. They may decide for C-section delivery if required. You may try the breathing techniques during your contractions.

Stage 2

This is it! You have been waiting for this moment for months. Your doctor will ask you to push. Your healthcare team may suggest you different positions like squatting, kneeling or sitting. After the crowing, when your baby’s head comes out, its body will follow. If there is no complication, the doctor might wait for some time before clamping or cutting the umbilical cord. This allows the nutrient-rich blood from the placenta to pass on the baby. This blood prevent anaemia and promoted proper development in the baby.

Stage 3

At this stage you deliver the placenta. This might take 30 minutes to one hour. You may need to give a mild push to deliver it. The doctor will ensure the placenta is intact. If the remains stay inside, it might cause infections. You will still feel mild contractions as the uterus is returning to its normal size. You will be given some medication to relieve the pain and decrease the bleeding.

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