This blog was originally written by Minakshi bajpai Check her work here
Motherhood is a joy that cannot be put into words. Giving birth to a baby is a very special and unique experience, and you’d want your little bundle of joy delivered in the safest way possible. Recent advancements in technology have helped mothers in having a better and a safer pregnancy. Hospitals have made a lot of progress by taking steps towards providing the best possible healthcare for both the mom and the baby.
This article is a guide on how you can give birth to your baby safely by understanding the different stages of labour and the delivery options that are available for you.
Stages of Labour Before Delivery:
There are three main stages of labour that a woman goes through before delivering her baby. These stages are:
The First Stage of Labour:
The first stage of the labour may last for 6 to 36 hours. In this stage, the woman’s body softens the cervix for the upcoming delivery. The contractions are mild and far apart. The water also breaks during this stage. This stage further has three phases:
1. EARLY LABOUR PHASE - This is usually the longest phase. Early labour starts when your cervix starts to open up. A woman remains in early labour until the cervix gets dilated by 3 cm.
2. ACTIVE LABOUR PHASE - This is when the cervix dilates up to 7 cm. In this stage, the contractions are stronger and intense. You will most probably be advised to practice breathing and relaxation exercises.
3. TRANSITION STAGE - This is when the cervix fully dilated to 10 cm. This is the shortest yet the toughest stage. You are now very close to having your baby in your arms.
What To Do In The First Stage Of Labour?
It is recommended that you drink lots of water and try to relax. Although active labour phase is the right time to go to the hospital, most women rush to the hospital in early labour phase. Try to talk to your doctor beforehand and determine when would be the ideal time to go to the hospital.
Make sure you have a support person(your spouse or a close relative or friend) by your side during transition stage as taking proper care of the mother is crucial. The support person should also encourage the mother to focus on breathing exercises. At this stage, you might get exhausted and restless but remember, your delivery is not far away, just stay calm and focused.
The Second Stage of Labour:
The second stage of labour is when the cervix is fully dilated. The baby moves further down along and it’s finally time to give birth to your baby. You will be asked to push harder to help the baby make its way out of the vagina. This act of pushing is completely natural and happens all on its own. After each contraction, try to relax and gather all your energy for the next push. Lots of support and encouragement is required at this time.
Mothers on epidural need a hint from the nurse to start pushing. The pushing stage varies from person to person so one must not fret over it. Changing positions and sitting in an upright position often makes pushing easier.
This stage makes you a mother, CONGRATULATIONS!!
The Third Stage of Labour:
The placenta coming out from the mother’s body is the third or the last stage of labour. Doctors may also use an ecbolic injection to fasten up this process.
Now that you know about the different stages of labour, the next thing would be to know about the different ways one could deliver a baby:
Ways To Deliver A Baby:
Vaginal Delivery: This is the most common type of childbirth. I have delivered both my kids vaginally. It helps you connect better with the experience of childbirth because both the mother and the baby are awake and fully aware. Since there is immediate skin-on-skin contact between the mother and the baby, a bond is established immediately. Vaginal deliveries without medications have very less healing time.
Assisted Delivery: Forceps Delivery and Vacuum Delivery are the two forms of Assisted Delivery. You can say that they are just variants of vaginal delivery.
In Vacuum, delivery takes place by attaching a soft vacuum cup to the baby's head to help deliver the baby.
In case of Forceps delivery, forceps(A large spoon-shaped instrument) is used to guide and help the baby is coming out of the birth canal.
Caesarean Section: This involves childbirth through a surgical incision in the abdomen and uterus. Planning ahead for it is an option but many emergency situations demand this procedure to be done. The recovery time is relatively more in case of C-sections.
Let Us Know About Epidural:
This isn’t a form of birth but a way to ease the pain caused during labour. Epidural is an injection applied to the lower back of the mother and it is passed through a fine tube. Any mother who experiences severe pain can take the help of an epidural. It helps in relaxation and also helps mothers who have hypertension, heart conditions or pre-eclampsia.
A pregnant lady should always discuss her delivery options with her doctor. It is best to exercise regularly in the days leading up to delivery.
What Should You Do To Have A Safe Delivery?
Exercises like Kegels, deep squats and aquatic pregnancy exercises can help open up your hips and make your pelvic muscles stronger. This increases the chances of you having a normal delivery.
Don’t stress too much about things you can’t control. Stay cool and composed and steer yourself away from situations and people that cause you any sort of discomfort.
Keep an eye on your weight. Eat green leafy vegetables, fruits and anything that’ll give you all the nutrition you need. Up your intake of fluids like water, fruit juices and shakes.
Make sure you get your daily quota of 8 hours of sleep. Afternoon naps are also very good for you. If you’re having trouble sleeping, a body pillow can help you with a great deal.
Delivering a baby is one of the most beautiful things a woman gets to experience and to deliver your baby smoothly, you need to be associated with the best team of doctors. The hospital you choose should have adequate neonatal care along with maternal care. Availability of doctors and nurses at all times for the mother is a must in the hospital. BirthRight by Rainbow Hospitals has all the required things and more. The hospital provides Pregnancy counselling, postpartum care, breastfeeding support, etc. to new moms. The hospital also has very good staff who are trained to provide the best neonatal care and services. The hospital follows international ways to govern themselves to give you and your baby nothing but the best. They also take care of several gynaecological problems such as Urinary incontinence, Utero Vaginal Prolapse and others that a woman may face. Do visit this hospital once and know all about the services they provide before you make a final decision.