The Beginning of Labor • Lightening- occurs when the baby settles deep into the mother’s pelvis. • Lightening may occur days or weeks before labor depending on the pregnancy. • Lightening typically occurs closer to delivery with every pregnancy each mother has. • Click the link below http://www.babycenter.com/2_inside-pregnancy-labor-and-birth_3658872.bc
Early Signs of Labor • “Show” or “Bloody Show” – refers to as loosing the mucus plug. • Throughout the pregnancy the mucus plug seals the Cervix: the lower part of the uterus. • This mucus helps prevent bacteria from moving up the vagina into the uterus where it might cause infection. • As birth gets closer, the mucus begins to liquefy- the woman may notice a few drops of blood or a slightly vaginal staining. • This “show” may come as early as a few days before labor begins.
Early Signs of Labor • In some women, the onset of labor is signaled by a trickle- or sometimes a gush- of warm fluid from the vagina. • We commonly refer to this as the “water breaking.” • Occurs when the membrane holding the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby has broken. • For most, this membrane does not rupture until she is at the hospital in active labor.
Early Signs of Labor • Once the water has broken, mother should take notice of: • The time • Amount of fluid • Color & odor of fluid • She should contact her doctor immediately & report this information. • The doctor usually will want to deliver the baby within 24 to 48 hours- to protect baby from infection.
Early Signs of Labor • Contractions: the tightening and releasing of the muscle of the uterus. • When the uterus contracts, it gets shorter and harder- like any other muscle. • With each contraction the uterine muscle , shortens and harden- holds the hardness for a short time, and then relaxes and rest for a few minutes. • This is the clearest sign that labor has begun.
False Labor • Some experience “false labor” hours or even days before they begin real labor. • They begin to feel strong contractions and believe that labor has begun. • Doctors look for these 3 signs to determine if labor is false: • Contractions are not regular or rhythmic. • They do not become increasingly stronger. • They end if the woman walks around.
The 1st Stage • Contractions prepare the mothers body for birth. • With each contraction the uterus pulls up on the cervix, slowly thinning and opening it. • Contractions get stronger & longer- lasting about 60 seconds. They also get closer together- 5-6 minutes apart.
The 1st Stage • As the cervix opens the baby moves into the lower pelvis. • Normally, the baby is head down. • Sometimes baby is “breech”- meaning that they are feet or buttocks first. • This stage ends with a period called “transition”- when the cervix becomes fully dialated. • Contractions become very strong lasting longer- up to 90 seconds. • Contractions become more frequent- 2 to 3 minutes apart.
Contractions make the cervix dilate- or widen. • Cervix becomes thinner- this is called effacing.
Completes the work of the 1st stage. • The cervix becomes fully dilated to a size of about 4 inches (10 cm). • The baby’s head begins to slip out of the uterus into the birth canal.
The 2nd Stage • Contractions at this stage are working to move the baby down the birth canal. • This stage is when pushing begins • The hormone “Relaxin” is released by the body to allow the ligaments in the pelvis to stretch like rubber bands. • The baby’s skull is soft and flexible so that the head can slide through the pelvis.
The 2nd Stage • If the doctor determines that the fit between mother and baby is not adequate they may perform an “Episiotomy”- widening the vaginal opening by making a surgical cut. • The doctor provides gentle support as the head is delivered. • Sometimes the doctor uses forceps- special tongs that are designed to fit the shape of the baby’s head. • These are used to help the baby emerge more quickly.
Baby’s head emerges first • Next the shoulders follows. • Then the rest of the baby slips out easily.
The 3rd Stage • After the baby is born, the mother often experiences a period of rest. • Then followed by another spell of contractions and an urge to push. • These contractions are different from the others- they do not typically cause as much discomfort. • They help the placenta separate from the uterine wall. • Once the mother pushes and delivers the placenta, the birth process is complete.
Cesarean Birth • Not all births progress through these 3 stages of labor. • If complications arise during pregnancy or during labor it may be necessary to perform a Cesarean Birth- the delivery of a baby by making a surgical incision in the mother’s abdomen. • With the use of certain medications, mother is able to stay awake to see the delivery of her baby.
Cesarean Birth • After surgery, mother and baby stay in the hospital for about 3 days. • Woman who have had a cesarean need about 6 weeks to recover from birth sense they are also getting over major surgery. • Watch the link below • http://www.babycenter.com/2_live-birth-c-section-surgery_3656510.bc
The Newborn • The newborns head is large and wobbly. • It may appear strangely lopsided or pointed due to the passage through the birth canal. With time it will return to normal. • The baby’s head has 2 fontanels- open spaces where the bones have not joined yet. • One of these “soft-spots” is just above baby’s forehead- the other toward the back of the skull.
The Newborn • Some babies have fine downy hair called “lanugo” over their forehead, back, and shoulders. This will disappear. • To protect baby’s skin it is covered with a rich creamy substance called “vermix.” After birth some vermix may be found in the creases of the skin- it can be removed with warm water and a washcloth.
The Newborn • Some babies also have tiny white bumps scattered over their nose and cheeks. • These bumps are called “milia.” They are simply plugged oil ducts. • The milia will disappear in a week or two.