Dilation and effacement are poor indicatorsof either when your birthing time willbegin or how quickly things will progress.
Strong, close contractions thatdon’t stop when you change activities.
Contractions that steadily buildand come at regular intervals.
Water breaking. It may take time forcontractions to start or become regular.
Slow Build-Up?It’s possible that you won’t have the clear signs;things may start to happen slowly for you,over a few days or even weeks.The term “prodromal labor” is usedwhen things seem to get started, then putter out.This usually happens in the evening.
Rest, relax, take it easy, and honor yourself..
Baby “drops” – called lightening.This usually happens a couple of weeks beforelabor in first-time moms, and just before orduring labor for subsequent babies.
First Stage: Early First StageAt this point things are starting to get regular andestablished. You feel excitement and anticipationbecause “this is it!”Usually things are light and regular asyour birthing wave pattern establishes.
First Stage: Early First StageThis is time to go about normal activities! Eat Nap Read, watch a movie, etc. LIGHT cleaning or “nesting” (don’twear yourself out!) Check over your bags or birth supplies Take a bath / shower Have your husband check the car forgas
First Stage: Early First StageGeneral guideline is rushes about 5 minutes apartand 40-60 seconds each.This stage lasts up to 4 centimeters dilation.
First Stage: Active BirthingRegular birthing waves get stronger and closer together.Usually things are light and regular asyour birthing wave pattern establishes.
First Stage: Active BirthingEffacement is happening, meaning your cervix isflattening out. Measured in percentages to 100% effaced.Dilation is happening, meaning your cervix is opening.Measured in centimeters to 10cms dilated.
At this point you’re using your skills to workwith your body and your baby.Ask yourself:How open am I? Am I keeping my muscles soft & relaxed? Are things progressing? Can I / Should Should I make changes?Ex. Go for a walk, changepositions, use a specific skill to createmore room in your pelvisFirst Stage: Active Birthing
First Stage: TransitionThis is usually considered themost intense part of birthing, but at this pointyou’re very close to meeting your baby! From 8-10cms dilation You’re really working to open the rest of theway and position your baby for a smooth tripthrough the birth canal. Very close to being done!
Second Stage: PushingYou’re fully dilated and effaced, and your bodywill soon begin to push on its own!It’s time to meet your baby :D
Second Stage: Pushing Water breaking (usually happenslate in the first stage or early in thesecond stage) Birthing waves space out a little –enjoy the rest in between! First babies usually take longer topush. Anything from 1-2 pushes toa few hours is normal. Wait and push with your body – the urge usually becomes undeniable You can feel / see your baby (feel with your hand; your nurse or midwife may holdup a mirror) It’s normal for your baby to move forward, then back a little bit – this gives yourtissues time to stretch!
Second Stage: Crowning & BirthCrowning is when your baby’s head is justabout to be born – it’s sitting on your perineum.
Focus on softening / releasing muscles and tissues Your midwife or nurse may use warm compresses aboveand below baby’s head to help your tissues stretch. Once your baby’s head is born, his or her body willrotate and prepare for birth. Your baby’s body may come right away, or requireadditional pushes. Once your baby’s body is born, baby is ready to comeup to your chest!! Your baby’s cord can be checked, but it doesn’t needcutting at this point. Unwind baby or pull the cord overhis/her head and bring your baby up to your chest!Second Stage: Crowning & Birth
The placenta detaches naturally andyou push it out. This usually happenswithin 5-10 minutes but up to about anhour is normal It feels a little odd, but it’s simple sinceit has no bones! Avoid having cord traction or harsh uterine massage/compression unless it’s anemergency situation.Third Stage: The Placenta is BornAt this point your baby is in your arms, but you’re not quitefinished. You still need to push out the placenta!
Surprise Unassisted Birth? Place baby on your chest Bundle Mama, Baby, and placenta uptogether with blankets while you wait forassistance or head to the hospital. Momcan sit on towels and should stay hydrated.
Immediate Postpartum: You You’re covered in blankets to relax with your baby You may have shakes or shivers (this can happenduring labor, too) and is the result of hormones Your midwife or doctor will monitor you closelyThey’ll assess bleeding Keep you warm Keep you hydrated Check your perineum
Immediate Postpartum: Baby Baby doesn’t need suctioning immediately unlesshe/she is having trouble breathing Some gurgling is normal, you go with your comfort level Baby will be snuggled to your chest, under blankets Baby may have a lot of creamy coating, called vernix Gently rub this in and pat baby dry – no need forvigorous rubbing Baby is generally very alert and aware
Immediate Postpartum: Baby May or may not latch on right away. Somebabies just want to check things out! Usually latches on within about half an hour Talk to and snuggle with your baby! Baby’s heart rate, breathing, andtemperature are monitored All other checks (weight, length, etc.) canwait for awhile while you two bond!
Click Here to get more info onpreparing for childbirth:NaturalBirthAndBabyCare.com