The few weeks before child birth will be a long and anxious wait for you. Ideally, get your husband to stay with you and get someone else to take care of your house and other children to prepare for labor. The due date your doctor gave you might not be accurate so be prepared for any surprises.
Sometimes your little bundle of joy might decide to come into our world before 37 weeks or gestation. When that happens, you’re in for preterm labor. There are some risks involved in premature births so it would be best to do everything you can to prevent it.
The onset of labor symptoms means your baby will soon be arriving. The length of time an individual is in labor varies from a few hours to a couple of days. The intensity of the labor also varies but the closer the baby is to coming into the world the more intense they will become. The symptoms of labor also very by individual and they can be different for each pregnancy that a woman experiences.
It is very common for the water to break as labor begins, but some women have to have it broken by the doctor. This is important for women to know because some have the misconception that if their water hasn’t broke they don’t need to go to the doctor yet. This can result in complications with the delivery or with the baby being born before the mother gets to the hospital.
Lower back pain is very common when a woman is in labor and it is associated with the contractions that will soon be coming if they have not already started. Contractions are the result of the uterus dilating and the baby getting into the birth canal. A woman’s uterus must be dilated to 10 cm before the baby can be born. As the contractions get stronger the doctor may offer pain medications to help the mother focus on getting the baby through the birth canal with as little trauma as possible.
As the contractions continue and the uterus has dilated fully, the mother will be instructed to start pushing to assist they baby with being born. Most babies are born head first but if they are not in position then various tools have to be used to get the baby turned around and in position. If that is not possible or the baby gets stuck it the birth canal the doctor may decide to proceed with a caesarean birth.
After the baby has been born, the mother is not done with her work quite yet. She still has to continue pushing to remove the placenta from her body. This is commonly referred to as the afterbirth. It can take a few minutes or a couple of hours for this process to be completed. It has to be fully removed from the mother’s body or complications and infections can occur. Many women are able to expel the placenta as soon as the baby is born without any further action needed on their part.