It’s a pain like no other, yet one you will forget in a flash, the moment your prize is placed in your arms. And a newborn baby cradled in your protective embrace must surely be nothing less than a miracle.
But the journey to this point takes on two main phases – that of labour and that of delivery. It’s a good idea to talk to your health provider, midwife or doctor, asking them to explain the procedure to ensure you are well prepared with how they intend to handle it. Being well prepared can go a long way in assisting a smooth and calm delivery of your baby into this world.
Every woman’s experience is different
Although every labour and delivery will vary from woman to woman, there will always be certain defining milestones that are simply part and parcel of both labour and delivery.
During the very early stages of labour most will notice regular contractions which could vary from between about five minutes to as much as twenty minutes. Each of these contractions will last just under one minute.
At this stage of your labour your cervix will dilate to about three centimetres. You may also have a slight bloody show. This is normal and nothing to be alarmed about.
Keep walking, if you can
It’s always a good idea to try to remain walking as much as possible, but do so with caution.
Contractions will speed up to within three and five minutes, but still lasting just on one minute in duration each. In preparation for your baby’s arrival, your cervix will dilate up to around seven centimetres by this stage.
You may feel intense pressure on your rectum or lower back area. This is a result of your baby moving down the birth canal. Contractions will become much more intense and quicker and your cervix will reach a full dilation of ten centimetres.
Most moms feel a strong need or urge to push, but it’s imperative to follow the instructions of your doctor, midwife or health provider to avoid any injury. You cannot simply push your baby out in one go! Remember your breathing as this will help with the pain and will negate the urge to push.
A small cut you won’t even feel
It’s possible your doctor will perform an episiotomy. This is a small cut which enlarges the vagina slightly and makes birthing easier. It really isn’t sore at all and you probably won’t even feel it being done.
Once your baby’s head crowns the delivery follows fast and your doctor will assist your little miracle into this world and cut his umbilical cord.
You will get to meet your baby as he is placed on your chest, and the bonding begins…
Birthing the afterbirth
Within five to ten minutes later you will experience more contractions, but not as long or as severe as the first lot.
These contractions happen in order to -birth the afterbirth.
Not only is giving birth an extremely painful experience, but so too is the labour part of the process. But it’s a pain with a wonderful reward. It’s also a pain soon forgotten and women have been given the strength to endure labour and birth for centuries. And we all survive to raise our little miracles into grown up miracles of our hearts.