North East Victoria
Baby to Toddler
Tastes of our Region
Baby to Toddler : Baby to Toddler 2009
The Border Mail Baby to Toddler 2009 13 medical or obstetric complications, you should be able to move around the room. You may find that it feels good to walk but will probably want to stop and lean against someone (or something) during each contraction. If you’re feeling exhausted, sitting in a rocking chair or lying in bed on your left side will work fine as well. This might be a good time to take a warm shower or bath if you have access to a tub. Warm water can really help ease the pain of labour, and women sometimes progress quite rapidly with the relaxationthat water provides. If you’re having great difficulty coping or have little interest in natural childbirth, this is when you might opt for some help. With systemic pain relief, usually delivered by IV or injection, you’ll still feel the contractions but to a lesser extent. Since the medication might make you feel drowsy or dizzy, you won’t be allowed to walk around after receiving it. Generally, regional anaesthesia (such as an epidural and/or spinal) will provide you with much more complete pain relief, although you might continue to feel some pressure if your baby is low in your pelvis. The Transition Period: The last part of the active phase is called the transition period because it marks the transition to the second stage of labour. Contractions are usually very strong during transition, coming about every two and a half to three minutes and lasting a minute or even a little longer. Your cervix continues to dilate from 8-10 centimetres. How long it lasts: Transition can last anywhere from a few minutes up to a few hours. It is much more likely to be rapid if you’ve previously had a vaginal delivery. This is the most intense phase of labour, with contractions coming hard and fast, and with symptoms that may include shaking, shivering, and nausea. Some women who have been coping well up to this point begin to “lose it” during transition. They might reject those around them but clearly have trouble being left alone. By the culmination of the first stage of labour, when the cervix reaches full dilation, the baby has usually descended somewhat into the pelvic area. This is when you might begin to feel rectal pressure, as if you have to move your bowels. Some women begin to bear down spontaneously and may even start making some deep grunting sounds. There is often a lot more bloody discharge. You may also feel nauseated or If you’re exhausted, pushing while lying on your left side often works quite well and can allow you to rest between contractions. It is not unusual to use a variety of different positions during the second stage. The descent of your baby can be rapid or, as is often the case if this is your first, more gradual. With each contraction, the force of your uterus — combined with the force of your abdominal muscles if you’re actively pushing — exerts pressure on your baby as he continues to move down through the birth canal. When a contraction is over and your uterus is relaxed, your baby’s head will recede slightly. It’s like a two steps forward, one step backward type of progression. After a time, your perineum will begin to bulge with each push, and before long, your baby’s scalp will become visible. Third stage The third stage of labor begins immediately after the birth of your baby and ends with the delivery of the placenta. Shortly after birth, your uterus begins to contract again. The first few contractions usually separate the placenta from the uterine wall. When your midwife or doctor sees signs of separation, she may ask you to gently push to help expel the placenta. (This is usually one short push and isn’t difficult or painful.) After you deliver the placenta, your uterus should contract and get very firm. You’ll be able to feel the top of it in your abdomen, around the level of your navel. Your midwife or doctor, and later your nurse, will periodically check to see that it remains firm. A well-contracted uterus is necessary to prevent continued bleeding from the place where the placenta was attached. Nursing your baby triggers your body to release oxytocin and helps to keep the uterus well contracted. If you’re not nursing or are bleeding excessively, you may be given medication to help your uterus contract, either intravenously or by injection. How long it lasts: Mild contractions generally resume within about three to five minutes after the arrival of your baby. The third stage of labour can take only a few minutes or last up to 30 minutes or so. On average, you can expect it to take about five to 10 minutes. even vomit as you make the transition to second stage. If you’ve had an epidural, you’ll feel varying amounts of pressure, depending on the type and amount of medication you’re getting. If you’d like to become a more active participant in the second stage of labour, you can ask to have the dose reduced at the end of the first stage of labour Second stage Once your cervix is fully dilated, the work of the second stage begins: the descent and ultimate birth of your baby. How long it lasts: This stage can last anywhere from minutes to hours. The average duration of the second stage is close to an hour for a first-timer (or longer if you have an epidural) and 20 minutes if you’ve previously had a vaginal delivery. Although it can be hard and exhausting, many women find the work of the second stage to be deeply satisfying. While some find the intense sensation of pressure while pushing to be very uncomfortable and even scary, many labouring mothers find that working with the contractions and being an active participant is exciting and helps to dull the pain of the contractions. It’s important to pay attention to the signals your body is giving you during second stage. Try different positions for pushing until you find one that feels right and is effective for you. Squatting or sitting works well for some women, but not all. If you have back labour (where the baby is positioned face up) you might find that pushing on all fours is more comfortable and effective.