Stages Of Labor
Stages of labor are are important things to know before giving birth. Often times, labor can feel like an eternity while you're going through it, but when its over, it seems like a blur. Its important to know the stages of the labor process so that you can better handle the entire ordeal. But the most important stage is holding your new bundle of joy!
- Early Labor. At this stage in the labor process, your cervix will start dilating. Your bloody show will start appearing. This is a thick, bloody discharge that comes because the cervix dilating. You will also feel contractions at this stage. Contractions can last anywhere from 30 to 90 seconds. There isn't a specific timeframe for early labor. This stage can change from mom to mom. During the Early Labor stage, some moms will continue their day-to-day activities. Until the next stage begins. There are some things you can do to keep the Early Labor stage a bit more comfortable such as taking a bath, a gentle massage, drinking plenty of water, and applying heat to your lower back.
- Active Labor. This is the time to begin heading to your labor and delivery facility. The cervix will dilate to ten centimeters and your contractions will come more and more frequently and more and more intensely. The stage of Active Labor will last an average of eight hours, however, every mom is different. During this stage, there are different things you can try to get the birthing process underway. Some moms will try rocking in a chair, taking a warm bath, walking down the halls, and breathing techniques. The last part of Active Labor is the transition period. This is when you are about to transition into birth. You may feel the need to push, but your cervix isn't fully dilated. It is import to attempt to breath through this period before going into the birthing stage.
- Birth. This is when its time to push! For some moms this can take a few minutes, while for others, this can take much longer. Its important to remember not to put strain in your face while you push, but to push where its important. Taking your time with pushing will help with not tearing vaginal tissue. However, your health care provider will let you know what's best to do. Its also good to try different positions for the pushing. Some moms prefer being on their knees, while others would like to be squatting. Once the baby's head is out, the health care provider will help with the breathing of the baby and the umbilical cord.
- Placenta Delivery. After your baby is born, there is still a lot that needs to happen. The placenta still must be expelled. Because your focus has shifted to your new born baby, this part doesn't require too much attention. However, the placenta must be delivered and your health care provider will be sure it is removed. You be required to push one more time to get out the placenta. Once the placenta is out, the doctor will be sure all fragments are removed in order to prevent infection. You may also require some stitching which the doctor will handle as well. Remember - enjoy this moment with your new baby.