Labor and Delivery
Labor and Delivery
If you’re currently pregnant or trying to get pregnant, you’re probably curious about the labor and delivery process. Labor and delivery occurs during the end of your third trimester when your body begins transitioning and getting ready to deliver your baby. There are many different stages of labor and delivery that will determine how and when your baby will be born.
Stages of Labor
There are three main stages of labor; early and active labor, birth, and after birth. Stage one of labor starts when the muscles of your uterus begin contracting and then relax. The contractions are helping your cervix thin out and open, called effacing and dilating. This will allow the baby to pass through the birth canal in stage two. There are three phases in stage one, including early labor where you have irregular contractors that last less than a minute, active labor with strong contractors lasting about a minute, and transition where your cervix opens completely and the baby gets ready for birth. In stage two, your cervix is fully dilates and you will birth your baby. Stage three follows the birth of your baby when you have contractors to pass the placenta.
Pain is often the biggest concern during childbirth aside from the health of your unborn baby. There are many ways to manage pain, whether or not you decide to have an epidural pain medication. Natural ways of managing pain during labor and delivery include breathing exercising, having excellent support, and trying a variety of positions. They may not lessen the pain, but they help you manage it. You can also listen to certain kinds of music or use imagery to help distract you from the pain. The main course of pain medication for childbirth is called an epidural, which is an injection that will partially or fully numb your body from the waist down.
Preparing for Labor and Delivery
There are other things that are recommended for getting ready for labor and delivery. This includes getting regular exercise throughout your pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimester as well as doing kegel exercises. Kegel exercises will strengthen your pelvic floor muscles which can aid you during labor and delivery. They also prevent a long period of pushing during labor. In the third trimester, it is also recommended that you take a childbirth education class with a support person or your partner. They will help you learn more about labor and delivery and how to manage your pain.