Stages of childbirth

Pre-labour, welcoming your baby – nearly! During pregnancy your cervix closes preventing infections through mucus. Prior to the commencement of labour, your cervix requires to change in several aspects from its integral properties to its position. The movement from posterior to anterior as such causes the softening and shortening of your cervix and is referred to as ripening.

Stage 1

Within the first stage of labour post ‘ripening’ your cervix has to create an opening induced by contractions to dilate the cervix into the lower sections of your womb. Contractions are the tightening and releasing of your muscles within your womb. This is then can be further broken down into three more stages; early, active labour and transitional phase. Find out about pain relief.

Stage 2

Its finally time, the decent to the birth canal (vagina) pushing to encourage the baby into the world.

During this period you will feel the pressure of child’s head within your pelvis  and with each contraction urges to bear down. Instead respond to your body push relative to the urges remembering to breath in-between  this is all aiding in the movement of your baby down wards and outwards.

Crowing is a later stage in which the baby’s head is visible to the entrance of your vagina and contractions have ended..

Your midwife/birthing partner will inform you as and when the baby’s head becomes visible and ask you to stop and blow as opposed to push to again aid in the resistance to bear down after several contractions and that the baby’s delivery is of a smooth gentle transition from womb to world. This is also best advised in the protection of perineum  the area between your vulva and anus. Hot compress is advised as a preventative measure to tearing.  Once your child is born,  they are cleaned with a clean, warm towel and placed on you for skin-to-skin contact. See more for preparation for childbirth.

Stage 3

Post birth the delivery of the placenta and membranes are required to exit in addition  to your child.

Contractions will commence once again butt on a more subdued level . Like with baby the placenta is similarly required to make the same journey down to the birth canal, however this can be undergone through what is medically described as managed  third stage, where injections are given to ease this process. Clamping of the umbilical cord is the final and last stage to child birth as a whole and it is recommended that one waits for several minutes post natural/managed third stage both as benefits to your child and yourself.