In detail

Labor and delivery

Labor and delivery

After about 40 weeks in which she grew up and led a new life, the hardest trial of a pregnant woman begins, the birth process or labor. Bringing a new life into the world or moving from intrauterine to extrauterine, or, in other words, birth, is a natural phenomenon that still has many unknown sides. Birth is considered to start with labor.
labor it was compared to pushing a large piano across the floor of a warehouse. It's a hectic, exhausting job.

The probable date of birth that your doctor calculated for you at the beginning of pregnancy is indicative, labor may start sooner or later than this date. After 37 weeks and up to 42 weeks, the birth is considered on time.

4 signs that can announce the beginning of the work

Lowering of the fetal head

The head of the fetus descends into the pelvis to prepare for birth. Your tummy also seems to lower with a palm against the ring and it seems easier to breathe because the baby no longer pushes the lungs. At the same time, you will have a more frequent feeling of urination, because the fetus presses on the bladder. Lowering of the child's head can take place in the weeks before labor starts, but also in the hours before birth.

Elimination of gelatin stopper

The gelatinous plug is a vaginal mucous leak that can contain blood streaks. Until its removal, this plug "clogs" the cervix (the communication channel between the uterus and vagina) and prevents the rise of bacteria to the uterus.

Rupture of membranes

Loss of fluid through the vagina means that the membranes of the amniotic sac that surround and protect the fetus have broken. The rupture of the membranes can occur with several hours preceding the initiation of labor or during labor. Most women go into labor within the next 24 hours after membrane rupture. If labor is not initiated, physicians may induce labor to avoid infections or other complications.


Irregular, painless, short duration contractions are common before labor starts. However, if the contractions become painful, occur at regular intervals, less than 10 minutes, are generalized, encompass all the uterine muscle, then most likely you went into labor.

Labor contractions are the result of contracting and relaxing the uterus. They lead to changes in the cervix. Deletion of the cervix (the cervix) involves thinning and shortening; this prepares the neck to expand and allow the baby to pass. The cervix gradually disappears as it is pulled by uterine contractions. Dilation is the opening of the cervix (which is closed before labor is started), reaching the expulsion rate of the baby to a diameter of 10 centimeters.

These parameters are used to measure the progression of labor, signaling phase and stage changes.
Labor is generally considered to have three stages, but in reality there are four. The fourth stage, which usually occurs after birth, is often omitted.
The first stage, in which the removal and dilation of the cervix takes place, is made up of three phases. The second stage is the expulsion stage of the fetus. The third stage begins after the baby is born and ends with the expulsion of the placenta and membranes (deliverance). The fourth stage, to strengthen the hemostasis, represents the initial recovery period of the mother.

It is not possible to predict how long the work will take. According to the "letter of the book", a labor lasts between 12 and 14 hours, but each labor and each birth are unique.
The contractions may continue for several days, but during the latent period of labor (first stage of neck dilation) they are usually weak in intensity and it is sufficient time to rest between them.
Many pregnant women have mixed feelings during this phase. They can be excited and happy knowing that the end of pregnancy is near. Others may be worried, especially those at first birth.

Although a woman can have a lot of energy, she should eat something easy, drink if she is thirsty and rest. Energy conservation is essential, because labor can take longer than anticipated. This will be the period that will alert those who make up your support team.

The active phase of labor

About the middle of the first stage, also called the active phase of labor, the neck expands by about seven centimeters at an accelerated rate. The active phase usually lasts about three hours. The removal of the neck remains constant throughout the active phase of labor.
The contractions become more intense and regular, appearing at shorter intervals of 3-5 minutes and lasting about 60 seconds. During this period of labor, the mother must increase her concentration during contractions, which can be even more painful. Some women will require medication during this period.
Bleeding may occur during the active phase. This mucosal secretion is more reddish than the pink one observed in the latency phase. This is not a cause for alarm. However, in this phase, the mother may become less talkative and expansive, her focus being more inward.
If the pregnant woman is not tired, she can stand or walk during labor and should be encouraged to change her position frequently - at least every 30 minutes. Some clinics allow pregnant women to take a shower or relax in a hot tub.
Support from those present and relaxation are essential during this period.

The first stage ends with the transition phase. This is the last cervical dilation before the baby begins to move down the birth canal. This is a short phase but with increasing intensity, usually lasting about 2 hours, during which the neck expands from 8 to 10 centimeters. The contractions become very strong, with a duration of 60-90 seconds and being interrupted by quiet periods of 2-3 minutes. This allows the pregnancy to rest a little between contractions.
At this point, the mother has to focus on the breath and the natural rhythm of her body, and often requires a coach, usually the midwife, to advise her what to do. It will probably become irritated and susceptible to those in its environment, passing through a series of sensations: tremors, hot and cold, nausea, vomiting, and changing emotions. The mother may also feel the urgent need to push while the baby is crossing the birth canal. The mother will be encouraged to push when the neck has the maximum dilatation of 10 centimeters.

The second stage of labor

At the beginning of this stage, the cervix is ​​fully dilated to 10 centimeters and the pregnant woman will voluntarily push the baby down the birth canal, having very strong and very painful contractions.
They last about 60 seconds, with periods of calmness of about 2-3 minutes. Usually, in a primipara (first-born woman), the duration of the second stage of labor is about 2 hours.
With an irresistible urgent need to push, the mother will feel safer at this time, being actively involved in this process. She may feel a tingling or burning sensation while the baby's head is born.
At the end of this stage, with the birth of the child, an extraordinary state of relief and emotion appears.

The third stage of labor

This is the shortest stage, lasting about 20-30 minutes and following birth. at this stage, the power of contractions will expel the placenta.
These contractions are very different from those during the early stages of labor. They are prolonged and are due to the retraction of the uterus that contracts to stop the bleeding from the blood vessels from the place of insertion of the placenta.
The pregnant woman is encouraged to push during these contractions. The uterus will contract and remain firm after the placenta is removed to prevent bleeding.

The fourth stage of labor

The fourth stage of labor begins after the birth of the child and expulsion of the placenta and lasts about one hour. The fourth stage represents a time of healing and improvement for the mother and a time for her and her newborn baby to become acquainted.
At this stage, the midwife or doctor will examine the placenta and umbilical cord, look for lesions they will suture, and then if the episiotomy has been performed, they will also suture it. The uterus must be firm and hard to the palpation and retracted below the navel.
This is the period of adaptation to the stress caused by the moment of birth. Many of the psychological changes that occurred during labor will stabilize in this first hour.

Tags Labor Day