The big day is approaching and you are probably getting quite anxious about the delivery of your baby. Some women are scared or nervous about the upcoming labor and delivery. Many women wonder what it feel like, how long it will take and how they will know when it is the right time. You can make it easier by educating yourself about the stages of labor and delivery.
First Stage During the first stage of labor, you will be doing alot of waiting because the first stage actually has three parts. This stage of labor usually takes the longest amount of time for most women. During the first stage of labor, you have early, active and transitional labor. During the early part of labor contractions will begin and they will gradually get stronger, closer and more intense. These early contractions will come approximately 10-30 minutes apart and last about 40 seconds each. Contractions will help your cervix to dilate and efface. Your cervix has to shorten and open to allow for the baby to engage in the birth canal. When your contractions begin, you should call your doctor and let them know. However, you still probably have some time before you need to head to the hospital. Your cervix has to reach 10 cm before you can start to push your baby out. Your mucus plug will come out during the first stage of labor, if it has not already. When you have dilated to 3-4 cm, you are considered to be in the active part of the first stage of labor. At this point your cervix will become soft and stretchy and your contractions will probably be much stronger. This is when you should head to the hospital for an evaluation. Your water may break around this time also. If you are going to get an epidural, now is the time to receive one. During the transitional phase, you will dilate from 8 to 10 cm. Contractions will be getting very close and they will be very strong if you did not receive any pain medications. Some women also begin to feel flu-like symptoms and can experience chills, nausea and vomiting.
Second Stage The second stage of labor is much shorter than the first stage of labor, but it is alot of work! Your cervix is completely dilated at this point and you will begin to push your baby out. The baby's head will come down the birth canal and you will almost certainly feel the baby's head and have an increased urge to push. With every push, your baby will move further down the birth canal until she begins to crown. Crowning happens when the baby's head stretches the opening of the vagina and you can actually see the head. Most women will feel a stinging or burning sensation. If needed, your doctor will perform an episiotomy to help the baby's head fit through the vaginal opening. After the baby's head and shoulders are born, the rest of the body will slide out easily. The umbilical cord is clamped and the throat and nose are suctioned. At this point, your baby will probably be placed on your tummy.
Third Stage This is the final stage of labor and you will already have met your little one. During this stage, contractions will continue, but they will not be as intense. The placenta will be delivered and examined. Most women do not know what is going on during this process because they are preoccupied with meeting their new baby. This last stage of labor usually only takes about 5 to 15 minutes, but it can take longer.
Comments: Vaginal Delivery
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1142 days ago.
Hi everyone, this is my 2nd pregnancy and i'm approaching week 22 and I am going for my next scan at 24 weeks where my doc and I will be deciding whether to have a VBAC or elective section don't know what to do. I suffer from endometrosios and it has been a hard pregnancy so far and I am completely worn out and dont think that I would even have the strength for labour. My first pregnancy was hard and spent a lot of time in hospital but didnt have endo at this time. I was induced at full term and pain started fast, after 10hours and having got a epidural I was only 6cm dilated and my waters had not been broken. The next minute my placenta started to arupt so they whisked my off for emergency section all went well in the end. Any advice on what to do VBAC or eletive section?