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Many first-time mothers are anxious about what happens during labor and delivery, especially around the time leading up to their due dates. This anxiety feeling comes up because not many people understand what to expect, and the science behind it brings a life into this world.  For this reason, it is important to find the appropriate primary care provider that will support you through your pregnancy and help you build confidence as you prepare to give birth. Specialists at Raveco Medical offer services in obstetrics & gynecology in Woodside, helping you throughout your pregnancy, offering a safe and smooth delivery process for you and your baby.

What are the five stages of labor?

There are three stages of labor:

  1. Cervical dilation

This stage is the longest. First-time mothers may undergo up to eight hours of cervical dilation where the cervix thins and stretches out as the baby’s head descends or engages with the pelvis. The first part is the latent phase, where the cervix dilates up to 4cm. The active part is until the cervix is fully dilated, which is at 10cm.

What causes the initiation of labor?

Different research offers specific reasons for labor induction. Biochemistry suggests that specific biochemicals like oxytocin stimulate prostaglandin production, leading to increased force and frequency of uterine contractions.

  1. Expulsion

This stage comprises full cervix dilation up to the time the baby is born. During the passive part of the expulsion stage, the baby moves down through the vagina, and during the active stage, the mother experiences the urge to push the baby out.

The process of pushing happens when there is syncing of uterine and abdominal muscles contracting effectively, maximizing efficiency while minimizing fatigue. Once the baby comes out, the medical care provider will clamp and cut the umbilical cord then places the baby on the mother’s breasts to encourage breastfeeding.

  1. Afterbirth

This stage involves the delivery of the placenta and other membranes. This process occurs after the doctor injects oxytocin into the mother’s thigh to assist in contraction. However, the placenta can deliver on its own with a gentle push from the mother and without medical intervention.

Is vaginal delivery the best birth plan for you?

Childbirth is a very important experience for a mother. It is, therefore, crucial to choose a delivery option that will enhance your experience making it memorable, and that offers a smooth and safe process for the mother and baby, leaving them both healthy at the end. The necessity of vaginal birth is superior to that of the caesarian section because the child gets exposure to a microbiota environment that promotes the development of healthy gut bacteria.

It is important to be aware of what happens during child labor and delivery to help you be psychologically prepared about what to expect, which will make you feel engaged in the process of bringing your baby into the world. Contact a specialist at Raveco Medical if you are unsure about the birth plan that is right for you to learn about the different options available and what happens during each.

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