I’m Going Into Labor!!! (What do I do now?)
Reliable Indicators that labor has begun • The Show: Spotting of blood because of the mucus plug coming out when the cervix begins to dilate. • Water Breaks: Rupture of amniotic sac causing fluid leaks through cervix. • Contractions: Muscle contractions at regular intervals than cannot be “walked off.”
Contractions • Contractions are the rhythmic tightening and relaxing motions of the muscles of the uterus. • Braxton-Hicks Contractions are called “false labor.” They can occur throughout the pregnancy and typically involve the back, not the uterus. They are not regular and can go away with exercise.
Induced Labor • A doctor causes labor to begin by injecting a drug that begins contractions • A doctor ruptures the amniotic sac to begin contractions.
First Stage of Labor • Contractions begin • Cervix dilates to 7 • Average length is two to ten hours • Longest Stage • Contractions grow stronger, longer, and more frequent • Fetal monitor attached
Transition • Regular, powerful, contractions every two to three minutes that last up to 60 to 90 seconds • Last about 90 minutes • Baby’s head enters birth canal • Cervix dilates to 10
Epidural • Injection in back next to spinal canal. • Numbs the lower half of the body • Given when mother is dilated to about 4 cm.
Positions for Giving Birth • Lie on back • Squatting • Lie on side • Sitting • Kneeling • In water
Second Stage of Labor • The second stage of labor is the birth of the baby • Crowning is when the head of the baby can be seen.
Episiotomy • An episiotomy is a surgical cut in the perineum to enlarge the vaginal opening to make birth easier and prevent tearing. • The cut is stitched back together after delivery.
Breech Delivery • A breech delivery is when a baby is born feet or butt first. • A feet first delivery is especially worrisome due to broken bones or displaced joints. • Breech delivery is a concern because the cord and head must come at the same time pinching off the oxygen supply as the baby descends through the birth canal. • Many breech babies use cesarean delivery.
Cesarean Delivery Used When: • The labor is long and difficult and the life or the baby or mother is threatened. • The fetal monitor shows a drop in heart rate. • Placenta Previa—placenta is covering the opening to the cervix. • The woman’s bone structure is too small to allow vaginal delivery.
Third Stage of Labor • The third stage of labor is the delivery of the placenta. • The placenta detaches from the uterine wall as the uterus shrinks. • The placenta is expelled typically within 20 minutes.
The Apgar Rating • The Apgar rating is used to determine if emergency steps need to be taken with a newborn. • The rating goes from 0 to 10 with a score of 7 or higher indicating a healthy newborn.
Colostrum • Colostrum is a yellow fluid rich in nutrients and antibodies produced by the breast in the first few days after childbirth. • Colostrum protects the newborn from infections. • Mothers are encouraged to give the new baby the colostrum.
Sitz Bath • Soaking the perineum for short periods of time after childbirth. • Keeps area clean to prevent infection of episiotomy.
Problems of Premature Infants • Low birth weight • Underdeveloped lungs • Infections • Slow development later in life • Little or no sucking reflex