What does a woman body go through during labor
If you end up having a vaginal birth, here are some of the things your body will do:. Ever wondered why so many women go into labour in the middle of the night? One theory is that the human body is primed to seek a dark, comfortable place to give birth, which could also explain why so many labours stall when women arrive at hospital argh! While the science is still out on the night-labour theory, a study found that melatonin secreted at night synergises with oxytocin to produce labour contractions. The plug is essentially a clear, gelatinous blob of mucous that has been sealing off your cervix for the last nine months.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Parturition - Pregnancy, Hormones, Giving Birth
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: What Happens During Labor Contractions?Content:
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Back to Your pregnancy and baby guide. During the 1st stage of labour, contractions make your cervix gradually open dilate. This is usually the longest stage of labour. At the start of labour, your cervix starts to soften so it can open.
This is called the latent phase and you may feel irregular contractions. It can take many hours, or even days, before you're in established labour. Established labour is when your cervix has dilated to more than 3cm and regular contractions are opening your cervix. During the latent phase, it's a good idea to have something to eat and drink because you'll need energy for when labour is established. If your labour starts during the day, stay upright and gently active.
This helps your baby move down into your pelvis and helps your cervix to dilate. Breathing exercises, massage and having a warm bath or shower may help ease pain during this early stage of labour. If you go into hospital or your midwifery unit before your labour has become established, they may suggest you go home again for a while.
Once labour is established, your midwife will check on you from time to time to see how you're progressing and offer you support, including pain relief if you need it. Your midwife will offer you regular vaginal examinations to see how your labour is progressing.
Your cervix needs to open about 10cm for your baby to pass through it. This is what's called being fully dilated.
In a 1st labour, the time from the start of established labour to being fully dilated is usually 8 to 12 hours. It's often quicker around 5 hours , in a 2nd or 3rd pregnancy. Your midwife will monitor you and your baby during labour to make sure you're both coping well. This will include using a small handheld device to listen to your baby's heart every 15 minutes.
You'll be free to move around as much as you want. Your midwife may suggest electronic monitoring if there are any concerns about you or your baby, or if you choose to have an epidural. Electronic monitoring involves strapping 2 pads to your bump.
One pad is used to monitor your contractions and the other is used to monitor your baby's heartbeat. These pads are attached to a monitor that shows your baby's heartbeat and your contractions. Sometimes a clip called a foetal heart monitor can be attached to the baby's head instead.
This can give a more accurate measurement of your baby's heartbeat. You can ask to be monitored electronically even if there are no concerns. Having electronic monitoring can sometimes restrict how much you can move around. Labour can sometimes be slower than expected.
This can happen if your contractions are not coming often enough, are not strong enough, or if your baby is in an awkward position. If this is the case, your doctor or midwife may talk to you about 2 ways to speed up your labour: breaking your waters or an oxytocin drip. Breaking the membrane that contains the fluid around your baby your waters is often enough to make contractions stronger and more regular.
This is also known as artificial rupture of the membranes ARM. Your midwife or doctor can do this by making a small break in the membrane during a vaginal examination. This may make your contractions feel stronger and more painful, so your midwife will talk to you about pain relief. If breaking your waters does not work, your doctor or midwife may suggest using a drug called oxytocin also known as syntocinon to make your contractions stronger.
This is given through a drip that goes into a vein, usually in your wrist or arm. Oxytocin can make your contractions stronger and more regular and can start to work quite quickly, so your midwife will talk to you about your options for pain relief.
You will also need electronic monitoring to check your baby is coping with the contractions, as well as regular vaginal examinations to check the drip is working. The 2nd stage of labour lasts from when your cervix is fully dilated until the birth of your baby. Your midwife will help you find a comfortable position to give birth in. You may want to sit, lie on your side, stand, kneel, or squat, although squatting may be difficult if you're not used to it.
If you've had lots of backache while in labour, kneeling on all fours may help. It's a good idea to try some of these positions before you go into labour. Talk to your birth partner so they know how they can help you. Find out what your birth partner can do. When your cervix is fully dilated, your baby will move further down the birth canal towards the entrance to your vagina. You may get an urge to push that feels a bit like you need to poo.
You can push during contractions whenever you feel the urge. You may not feel the urge to push immediately. If you have had an epidural, you may not feel an urge to push at all. If you're having your 1st baby, this pushing stage should last no longer than 3 hours.
If you've had a baby before, it should take no more than 2 hours. This stage of labour is hard work, but your midwife will help and encourage you. Your birth partner can also support you. When your baby's head is almost ready to come out, your midwife will ask you to stop pushing and take some short breaths, blowing them out through your mouth. This is so your baby's head can be born slowly and gently, giving the skin and muscles in the area between your vagina and anus the perineum time to stretch.
This is a small cut made in your perineum. You'll be given a local anaesthetic injection to numb the area before the cut is made. Once your baby is born, an episiotomy, or any large tears, will be stitched closed. Find out about your body after the birth , including how to deal with stitches. Once your baby's head is born, most of the hard work is over. The rest of their body is usually born during the next 1 or 2 contractions.
You'll usually be able to hold your baby immediately and enjoy some skin-to-skin time together. You can breastfeed your baby as soon as you like. Ideally, your baby will have their 1st feed within 1 hour of birth. Read more about skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding in the first few days. The 3rd stage of labour happens after your baby is born, when your womb contracts and the placenta comes out through your vagina.
Your midwife will explain both ways to you while you're still pregnant or during early labour, so you can decide which you would prefer. There are some situations where physiological management is not advisable. Your midwife will give you an injection of oxytocin into your thigh as you give birth, or soon after. This makes your womb contract. Evidence suggests it's better not to cut the umbilical cord immediately, so your midwife will wait to do this between 1 and 5 minutes after birth.
This usually happens within 30 minutes of your baby being born. Read about preventing heavy bleeding on our page What happens straight after the birth. The cord is not cut until it has stopped pulsing. This means blood is still passing from the placenta to your baby. This usually takes around 2 to 4 minutes. Once the placenta has come away from your womb, you should feel some pressure in your bottom and you'll need to push the placenta out.
It can take up to an hour for the placenta to come away, but it usually only takes a few minutes to push it out. If the placenta does not come away naturally or you begin to bleed heavily, you'll be advised by your midwife or doctor to switch to active management.
You can do this at any time during the 3rd stage of labour. Read more about what happens straight after your give birth.
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What Happens in Labor?
When Claire L. Slender hips and big babies were a family trademark. At about 20 weeks, Claire, then 30 and living in Santa Cruz, California, told her obstetrician about her family history.
Back to Your pregnancy and baby guide. During the 1st stage of labour, contractions make your cervix gradually open dilate. This is usually the longest stage of labour. At the start of labour, your cervix starts to soften so it can open. This is called the latent phase and you may feel irregular contractions.
7 amazing things that happen to your body during labour
And that form of labor takes plenty of work, as the female body transforms itself from a mere mortal into a miraculous maternity machine. The TL;DR version? Women are freaking superheroes. Progesterone suppresses the desire for food, Romero says, forcing the digestive system to essentially shut itself down while a woman is laboring. In the midst of all this, the brain is releasing the hormone oxytocin, which zooms toward the uterus and fuels contractions, explains Dr. Some women may experience contractions weeks or days before giving birth, while other women only experience contractions for a few hours before delivery. During early labor, women release a lot of mucus. It looks like you blew your nose out of your vagina. When the cervix is about 10 centimeters, a woman is ready to start pushing.
The Scary Truth About Childbirth
The shape of the pelvis, hormones, powerful muscles and more all work together to help you bring your baby into the world - before, during and after childbirth. The hormone oxytocin causes contractions during labour, as well as contractions that deliver the placenta after the baby is born. In the weeks or days before you start having proper contractions, you may experience Braxton Hicks contractions. This is your uterus tightening then relaxing. As labour gets closer, your cervix softens and becomes thinner, getting ready for the dilation widening that will allow the baby to enter the vagina.
Pregnancy, labour and delivery are incredibly physically demanding for women. But birth is no walk in the park for the baby either. The brain itself changes form as this happens too.
How Does My Body Work During Childbirth?
.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Stages of labor - physiology