No matter how much you’ve read up on childbirth or discussed the nitty-gritty details with top gynaecologist in Delhi, chances are you’ll be nervous when the due date gets closer. The truth is child births are uncontrollable and unpredictable.
Once you enter 37 weeks of pregnancy, the baby can arrive at any time. Given the ambiguity, it’s normal for would-be moms to feel anxious about the approaching delivery, especially if it’s baby #1. Knowing what to expect beforehand can help lessen the concerns. Here’s the lowdown on going into labour from the first contraction through the delivery of the placenta.
Signs of Labour
The duration of labour varies from woman to woman. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, labour can last an average of 12 to 14 hours for first time moms. It starts with on and off contractions and when they become stronger and closer together, it’s time to go to the hospital. Other indications include the ‘rupturing of your water bag’ or ‘dislodging of the mucus plug’ that will stain your underwear with a bloody discharge.
The First Stage
What do women in the throes of labour want? Quality medical care, the right environment, and a top-notch medical team to make birthing a smooth and comforting experience, right? The luxury birthing centres in Delhi boast world-class doctors, modern facilities, optimal support systems, and state-of-the-art infrastructure for the best possible outcome during every stage of labour and beyond.
On checking in at a luxurious hospital a highly qualified gynaecologist will monitor the baby’s heart rate and check the frequency/duration of your contractions to see how far your cervix has dilated. This is the first phase (latent) of labour when the cervix opens to about 3cms.
The contractions are mild and usually last between 30 and 60 seconds. This can persist for a few hours as the cervical dilation typically progresses at about 1cm per hour. Your health consultant will continually track the development.
The Second Stage
This is the active phase when contractions intensify consistently and are five to three minutes apart. You may experience intense pain in the lower back, abdomen, or thighs. If unable to endure the discomfort, you can opt for an epidural that an expert anaesthesiologist will administer. This period may last up to 1 and 1.5 hours.
The frequency of contractions will gradually increase, and the baby’s head will move down the vaginal opening. Once your cervix is dilated to 10cms your doctor will urge you to start pushing. The contractions of the uterus, the muscles in your diaphragm, and the abdominal wall will help you in propelling down the baby. An episiotomy (a small snip between your vagina and rectum) may be needed to prevent rupturing when the baby bears down. Now, you are almost there and with some gentle pushing, the baby’s head, shoulder, and body will slither out.
If the second phase is too prolonged or your baby is in distress and cannot manoeuvre down the birth canal the delivery has to be accelerated. Your gynaecologist in Delhi may decide on using forceps, vacuum extraction, or a C-section.
The Third Stage
This is referred to as the delivery of the placenta and happens a few minutes after the birth of the baby. Most moms are so busy bonding and cooing over the little one that they don’t notice this discomforting stage. After the delivery, the uterus contracts which cause the placenta to separate from the uterine wall. You will have mild contractions and asked to push once again to eject the placenta. On verifying that the organ is intact, a health care provider will massage your abdomen and then stitch up the episiotomy. Finally, the luxury birthing centre will weigh/measure the infant, run a few tests, and give him a vitamin K injection. With all medical formalities complete, you can revel in the miraculous moment and embark on the beautiful journey of motherhood.