Childbirth is a process that each woman experiences differently. What is common to all deliveries that occur naturally are the different stages of labor: dilation, expulsion, and delivery. Know the stages of labor It will help you to live it more calmly and with less anxiety. Labor begins with the dilation phase, in it the cervix will be effaced and dilated 0 to 10 centimetersto allow the baby to exit.
The period in which the woman is dilating is in turn divided into two phases: the effacement of the cervix and the dilation.
The erasure: It is the shortening of the cervix completely to allow the baby to come out. Throughout pregnancy, the cervix has been lengthening to about three centimeters. In this phase, the cervix begins to shorten completely to less than half a centimeter so that the baby can come out. It begins to occur between 48 and 72 hours before delivery.
The dilation: When the cervix has been erased, there is only one hole that will have to widen so that the baby can be born. Dilation is a progressive process that has a different duration for each woman. New mothers take longer to delay than women who have had more children.
New moms take about 1 centimeter per hour to dilate and multiparous women 1.2 centimeters. It is the longest stage of labor and has 2 phases: passive dilation and active dilation.
Passive dilation: In this stage of labor, the cervix dilates from 0 to 3 centimeters. Contractions can last 30 to 60 seconds, with 5 to 20 minutes in between. This phase is the longest of the dilation, it can even last days, especially in women who are going to give birth to their first child. If you have not yet expelled the mucous plug, a brownish slimy substance that seals the entrance to the uterus, this could be the time.
In this first stage of dilation, the best thing you can do is distract yourself: read a book, watch a movie, take a shower, talk on the phone with friends, or go for a walk. It is still early to go to the hospital. Until the contractions do not occur every 5 minutes and for a period of one hour it is convenient that you be at home since you will find yourself more comfortable.
Active dilation- At this stage of labor, the cervix will dilate 3 to 10 centimeters. The contractions will become stronger, longer, and occur more frequently. They can last about a minute and occur every 2 to 4 minutes. You will have little time to rest between contractions. If you want to have epidural anesthesia, now is the time to ask for it.
The best thing you can do in this phase of dilation is to put into practice the breathing techniques you learned while preparing for delivery. Your partner can help you by giving you kidney massages or by giving you encouragement and lots of pampering. You won't be able to drink water during this process, but your dad can rub a cotton ball soaked in water over your lips. The last 3 centimeters in the dilation are the most intense, it is called the transition stage.
There is hardly any time to rest between contractions. You will feel strong pressure on your lower back and rectum. You may feel like pushing, but you shouldn't do it until your midwife or gynecologist tells you to. Once the dilation has taken place, the next stage of labor arrives: expulsion.
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