As you prepare for the delivery of your much-awaited baby, you will become more sensitive to what your body feels. The entry point to the delivery process is the experience of being in labor.
The signs of early labor may start with the occurrence of cramps in the lower back or more specifically, in the pelvic area. Such thirty-second cramps occur on and off every hour and increase in strength and intensity as you go deeper into labor.
Once you feel this pain, it is very important not to panic. These are normal pains that go with pregnancy especially when the time for delivery is coming near.
Instead of panicking, just relax and prepare for an activity that will require all your strength – so reserve your strength for delivery. Walk, read, nap or just divert your attention from the pain to another activity.
As the time comes near, your water may break or you may have some bloody discharge. These are signs that your doctor needs to be informed about. He/She may ask you to prepare to head to the hospital and stay in the labor room for observation.
In the hospital, a series of vaginal examinations will be done to determine the amount of time that you still have, before the baby comes out.
The baby’s position and heart rate will be constantly monitored.
There are three stages of labor.
The first stage happens at the start of the labor and you have 10-cm dilation. This means that the baby is getting ready to come out and contractions will happen frequently. Your partner may help ease the pain by massaging your back as contractions occur or help you do some breathing exercises.
When the head emerges from the birth canal, the second stage happens. You can decide on the role of your partner in this process. Some would want their partner to cut the umbilical cord with the approval of the doctor.
The final stage happens when the placenta is removed after the contractions. This is very important for a safe and sound delivery.
The three-stage labor process completes the most awaited moment of a mother. Perhaps holding your baby after delivery is the most important moment in your life and with your knowledge about it, you are better prepared to face that exciting moment.