Childbirth Delivery Stages of Normal Labor

The obvious culmination of nine months of pregnancy is delivery of a baby. Just how that delivery will take place is usually determined by the woman having the baby, unless there have been extenuating circumstances which would dictate otherwise. To be prepared well for childbirth, labor and delivery, taking childbirth classes is optimal. Good classes with a certified educator will teach you about childbirth options, hospital policies regarding childbirth and provide you with materials and information to help you make the best decision for you and your baby.

More Women Are Opting For Natural Childbirth Delivery

Despite the labor and delivery stories that depict the experience as horrible and difficult, more and more women are choosing natural childbirth delivery over other methods. They realize the risks to medication commonly used in childbirth and know that everyone benefits if the birth can be accomplished without using medications. You can get a glimpse of the experience beforehand so you have some ideas of lies ahead. There are many places on the internet you can visit to see childbirth delivery videos as well as childbirth delivery pictures that are poignant and moving.

Natural childbirth delivery means something different to each person. It is known as vaginal birth, others see it as birth without medications for pain and still others regard natural childbirth as birth without any intervention or pain medications. Regardless the definition you choose for it, natural childbirth means you will be fully present and involved in the entire experience and you will have accepted the potential for pain and discomfort as part of the process. You will be completely aware through each stage of labor and with the right preparation, you will probably feel very empowered by the experience and fulfilled afterward.

It Begins Before It Really Begins

The childbirth delivery stages of normal labor may begin days or even weeks before your baby actually arrives. Before the onset of labor and delivery your body will give you signs that everything is about to begin. The baby will drop into position for birth and suddenly you have space between your breasts and your belly. You will probably have a welcome reprieve from heartburn and indigestion. Then you may lose your mucus plug. This happens as the cervix begins to dilate and a mucus discharge that is pink or lightly tinged with blood will appear. If the discharge is bright red, call your health care provider immediately. Just before labor contractions really kick in, you will probably feel this sudden urge to clean everything, rearrange the furniture and work in the garden. Your best bet is to refrain from expending all that energy - your body is telling you it's time to start working toward delivery of your baby and you'll need a tremendous amount of energy to get that job done.

The Stages of Labor

Early labor is the longest and easiest part of your labor. At this point, your cervix will dilate to four centimeters and you will have contractions five to ten minutes apart, usually lasting between 30 to 60 seconds. This early stage of labor can last from two to ten hours. It's best not to eat during this time in the event an intervention is necessary. It's not what you want, but it is something that can happen so it's best to prepare for all eventualities. Next comes active labor when your cervix dilates from four centimeters to eight. Contractions are going to come every two minutes and will last about 45 seconds. You will change from being a sweet-natured woman to something akin to a beast in terms of temperament, preferring to focus on what you are doing and having no patience for anyone or anything outside of pushing that baby out.

The most intense and shortest period in the stages of labor in the transition stage. Contractions go to one to two minutes apart and last from 45 to 60 seconds. It won't be long before the baby arrives. The intensity of the contractions coupled with the efforts of the baby to be born do amazing things to your body. You may feel cold and find yourself trembling uncontrollably. You may want to vomit. Modesty has gone out the window and you may not feel like you can endure another contraction. If they haven't already, your membranes may rupture at this point or your physician my pierce them in order to allow the baby to push through to birth. If you were thinking it isn't quite time, it's too late. You're here now and the baby will be born. You will, in minutes, be the star of your own live childbirth delivery. Congratulations.

When It Doesn't Go As Planned

For some women, having a natural childbirth is either impossible, or they require intervention to complete the birth. After anticipating a natural birth, the disappointment can trigger depression, especially postpartum when the hormones are once again in chaos. If you find yourself in this situation, seek the help of your health care provider.


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