Labor and Childbirth

Labor and Childbirth

Labor and Childbirth B Y: S H E R Y L WA D E H R A S O N I K K A L O G A N AT H A N C L A I R E S H I N, N ATA S H A , N E H A L , K E Z I A H , NANDINI Stage 1: Dilation You can divide Stage 1 into 3 phases. The early phase: -During this early phase of labor, the mother may feel excited and nervous,

since the moment that she has been waiting for has finally come. -The mother will feel like resting or walking, or doing such things that relax her. -During this stage, it is very important to keep hydrated. -The mother may experience leaking of amniotic fluid; the expulsion of the plug which may be stained with blood that has kept the cervix sealed. : Stage 1 (continued) The active phase: -Mother will notice a change when she hits this stage: -Contractions become regular and form a

pattern of increasing frequency. -The mother will try to concentrate on what her body is doing. -The key is to stay active and to relax during contractions, by breathing regularly. -It usually helps to lie on a pregnancy ball or to lie down on one side. Stage 1 (continued) The transition phase: -Though labor may be difficult at this point as she is getting close to the birth of her baby. -Transition, or the turning point right before birth is

the hardest and most intense. -It is also the shortest of the 3 stages, lasting from 10 to 45 minutes. THE FIRST STAGE The birth begins when labour contractions start becoming frequent, intense and of sufficient duration to cause the cervix to open. Before the active part of labour begins, the cervix is about 3cm long and closed (not dilated). When labour starts, the cervix gets shorter (a process called effacement) and opens (dilates). The cervix is fully dilated when it has opened 10cm.

During labour, it's important that the mother doesnt start pushing before she is fully dilated, because there will be a danger of tearing the cervix. Once the cervix has fully dilated, the first stage of labour is completed and the second stage is about to begin. The first stage generally lasts up to 12 hours in a first labour and about seven hours in subsequent deliveries, but each labour is different. Stage 2: Birth -The mother has finally arrived at the second stage of labor - the birth. -Her body will feel the urge

to push the baby out and she will bear down in order to give birth. - The baby's head will appear as the baby is 'crowning' and her medical attendants will guide her through the last few pushes to deliver the child. -The second stage of labor usually takes a couple of hours for new moms; women who have already had

Stage 3: Delivering Placenta and Membranes Between 5 minutes to 1 hour after her baby is born, she will complete the third stage of labor by delivering the placenta and membranes that have nourished and contained her baby throughout her pregnancy. These contractions are milder. This phase is known as after-birth. Hormones required for Birth three of the main hormones involved with reproduction: oxytocin, endorphin, and adrenaline.

Oxytocin is often known as the "hormone of love" because it is involved with lovemaking, fertility, contractions during labor and birth, and the release of milk in breastfeeding. It helps us feel good, and it triggers nurturing feelings and behaviors. In response to stress and pain, your body produces calming and painrelieving hormones known as endorphins. The level may rise toward the end of pregnancy. In unmediated labors, it continues to rise steadily and steeply through the birth of the baby. Adrenaline is the "fight or flight" hormone that humans produce to help ensure survival. Women who feel threatened during labor (for example by fear or severe pain) may produce high levels of adrenaline. Adrenaline

can slow labor or stop it altogether. Earlier in human evolution, this disruption helped birthing women move to a place of greater safety. Hormones responsible for birth Labour begins with the contractions of the uterus muscle. PROGESTERONE(prevents the contractions of the uterus): The level of this hormone falls as birth approaches OXYTOCIN: Stimulates the contractions of the uterus. A hormone released from the pituitary gland of the mother OESTROGEN: Helps the contraction of the uterus

muscles, which makes the uterus more sensitive to oxytocin. Its level rise as birth approaches How are mother and baby monitored during labour? The mothers blood pressure, pulse and temperature will be checked at regular intervals throughout labour and after the delivery. It is usual to monitor the baby by listening to its heartbeat. This is commonly done by listening to the heart with a special handheld amplifier, recording the heart rate at regular intervals. In certain circumstances, it can be necessary to have a continuous recording of the baby's heartbeat. This can be obtained via a belt placed around the mother's waist. Alternatively, a small electrode can be placed on the baby's scalp via your cervix. By analysing the baby's heartbeat in these ways, the midwife or

obstetrician is able to detect whether the baby is receiving enough oxygen during the course of the labour. Occasionally, the heartbeat pattern shows abnormalities and the obstetrician may need to take a small sample of blood from the baby's scalp to analyse the oxygen content (foetal scalp sampling). Video on child birth http:// References: Pregnancy Giving Birth Labor & Delivery Pregnancy

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