The journey of bringing a new life into the world is a hard one, and the process of the birth itself can get quite exhausting for some. During labour, you go through 3 stages that marks the arrival of your little one.
The First Stage
The first stage of labour in itself consists of 3 sub-stages; Early Labour, Active Labour and the Transitional Stage.
In this stage, your cervix makes preparations for giving birth by shortening and becoming thinner. At this time, you might experience contractions that are 20 minutes apart, and are barely noticeable. But sometimes, they also might feel like cramps or the kind of pain that you experience during menstruation. But even though the contractions might not see, too severe to you right now, it is always advised, that even during this stage, you stay at home, until the contractions get stronger.
The contractions during this time start to become frequent and powerful, and your cervix continues to dilate from 3 cm to 10 cm now. From 20 minutes between each contraction to just 3 to 4 minutes apart contractions are what you can expect right now. During this stage, it is always better that you shift to the hospital that you are planning to give birth in or give a call to our midwife in case you are planning on a home birth.
The first urge to start pushing might occur during this stage. Feeling sick and shaky during the stage is a normal thing, so don’t worry or feel like you won’t be able to get through the day, because you truly can! Since now the contractions become more frequent and painful, you might crave for a painkiller.
The Second Stage
In the second stage of labour, you will become fully dilated and will be ready to bring in the little one into the world. Your cervix would now fully be open and you will be ready to start pushing. The doctors/nurses or your midwife will help you achieve the best possible position for birthing. The stage in itself can last from mere minutes to a couple of hours at best.
As each contraction takes place, you will be able to feel your baby’s head against your pelvis and when you push during your contractions, your little one moves closer to the pelvis. At the end of the stage, your baby’s head will emerge and once this happens, the body too will follow shortly with the next contraction.
The Third Stage
You are finally holding your little one in your arms and there is happiness all around, but the final stage still remains to be seen through; the placenta delivery. If you start feeling more contractions post the delivery of your baby, don’t be alarmed, this is completely natural. With another push, you will feel the placenta peeling away from the wall of the uterus.
Once this happens, your doctor/midwife might just double check to make sure that nothing was left behind in your uterus. If needed, your doctor could also be open to giving you an injection to speed up the process of the delivery of the afterbirth. However, if you want, you can also do this naturally.