The Three Stages of Labor

Every pregnant woman, especially if it is going to be her very first delivery, is apprehensive that she may not be able to judge the time of the onset of labor correctly, and that the delivery may take place suddenly, in unforeseen circumstances. But as a matter of fact these fears are unfounded. The woman becomes aware of the imminent delivery well in time. One or more of the following three signs always herald the coming of the baby:
Stages of Labor

  • There is a discharge of a blood like fluid from the vagina. The discharge starts up rather suddenly.
  • Urination is accompanied by pain in the pelvic region.
  • There are intermittent spasms of pain in the abdomen, otherwise described on ‘onset of labor’. The pain is due to contractions of the uterus.

Any one or more of the above signs should alert the mother-to-be to the fact that delivery is now imminent, and she should hasten to the hospital without delay.

Delivery is a process in which the baby is pushed out of the uterus by contractions and relaxations of specific muscles. The whole period starting from the onset of labor pains to the time after delivery when the fetus bearing organs of the mother regain their original shape and condition, can be divided into the following three stages.

The first stage In the first stage, the muscles of the upper part of the uterus begin their contractions. As a consequence, the cervix begins to thin out and dilate due to the pressure on the principal blood vessels of the cervix. The contractions follow each other at intervals of about five minutes. In this phase the cervix dilates. Then the contractions increase in frequency coming at every three minutes. The cervix has dilated to about 6 centimeters at about this time. As the contractions begin to recur every two minutes or so, the cervix becomes fully dilated, and normally the head of the baby begins to emerge.

Three Stages  Labor

The second stage The nature of the contractions of the uterus alters in this stage. The response of the mother to every contraction now is a desire to exert to force pushing the baby back. A woman who is experiencing her first delivery, and who has absolutely no information about the sequence of events during a delivery, instinctively begins to take deep breaths at the very commencement of this stage, and tends to hold her breath at every contraction. She feels the urge to defecate. She continues to brace herself to endure the pain with every deep breath till the baby emerges completely from the uterus. As the baby slides outward through the vagina, the mother experiences intense desire to grasp her own legs. Labor ends with the emergence of the baby from the vagina.

Now the fluids in the baby’s mouth, nose and respiratory passages are cleaned out. After making sure that the baby is able to breathe normally. It is handed over to the mother. When the baby is thus finally placed in her arms, the mother finds her heart flooded with a sense of relief and achievement, as she feels that she has gone through a numbe

Three Stages

r of trials and tribulations and has finally given birth to a brand new human being, her very own creation.

The third stage After the delivery, the contractions of the uterus cense, and the muscles relax. After about fifteen minutes, the contractions start up again. The contractions become gradually stronger, until at last the placenta, or after birth, is also expelled. Then the uterus retracts upwards, and gradually returns to its original condition. If this process is delayed, or if bleeding continues, an injection of methergin is given to hasten the process.

Thus, the three stages of labor pains are administered above for understanding how the step by step stages happening during delivery period.

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