The three phases of natural childbirth

If you are in the last weeks of pregnancy, you may already be imagining what your delivery will be like, what you may feel, what your baby will be like ... Today we are going to try to resolve some of these doubts by explaining what the phases of labor are.

Labor is made up of three phases or periods: dilation, expulsive and delivery.. There is a previous phase, which is not part of the delivery itself, but which is also important to know: the prodromes. Let's see now what each phase consists of.

They are the symptoms that can be noticed in the days or weeks before delivery. They are highly variable from one woman to another, and even some women do not notice them. These symptoms include irregular contractions, expulsion of the mucous plug, feeling of a lower gut, more pelvic discomfort, or a sudden burst of energy.

They do not indicate that labor is imminent, only that it is approaching and that your body is preparing for it, even beginning to modify and dilate the cervix (this is what is called the 'latent phase of dilation'), but it does not consider that you are 'in labor' until this dilation is at least 3 centimeters.

In this phase it is recommended that you continue to maintain your life and normal routines (of course we are talking about healthy habits adapted to the final stage of pregnancy), and that you do not focus solely on whether or not labor will begin; When it starts, you will know.

It is considered that labor begins when the cervix is ​​already 3 cm dilated and becomes thinner and softer, and we have regular contractions in intensity, frequency and duration.

The dilation phase goes from the start of labor itself to full dilation, that is, when the cervix has fully opened (10 cm) and allows the baby to pass through the vagina. It is the longest phase of labor, and in it we will notice regular and intense contractions, which are the ones that will make the cervix open and also help the baby to position itself and fit in the pelvis.

The duration of dilation is highly variable and depends on many factors, but it is considered that on average it lasts about 8 hours when it is the first delivery and about 5 hours in the following. During the dilation phase, you can find different ways to control the contractions and help the labor progress: movements, Pilates ball, breathing, shower or hot water bath,… the midwife will help you and indicate what you can use. If you want epidural analgesia, its use usually starts at this stage.

Sometimes, once we have reached full dilation, the contractions seem to stop or be delayed. This is what is known as the transition period, which allows us a little rest before facing the next stage.

This stage goes from full dilation to the birth of the baby. You will continue to have contractions that will help the baby to move in the most appropriate way to descend through the birth canal little by little. This phase is also known as passive expulsive, since the baby goes down only with the help of the contractions, although it has nothing passive: you can move, change position to find the position that is most comfortable for you, concentrate on the breathing, in positive messages for you and your baby ...

There will come a time when you will feel like pushing during the contraction, so that you too can actively help your baby, which is why this phase is called 'active expulsive'. With the force of the contractions and your pushing, the baby will finish descending through the birth canal and little by little its head will appear, then the shoulders and finally the rest of the body. Once your baby is born, the midwife will place it. skin to skin on your chest. The duration of the expulsion is also highly variable.

It is the last and shortest of the phases of labor. It consists of the exit of the placenta (together with the bag of waters), and usually happens between 5 and 30 minutes after the baby is born. You will continue to notice some contractions but softer than the previous ones.

These are the stages of labor, knowing a little about them will help you to go more calm and confident to that moment of meeting with your baby, we hope we have helped you!

You can read more articles similar to The three phases of natural childbirth, in the category of Delivery on site.

Video: Stages of Labor: Stages 1, 2 u0026 3 of Normal Labor Obstetrics. Lecturio (December 2021).