The delivery: what can you expect?

April 5, 2019

What exactly happens during a birth? Which steps do you go through and which contractions are involved? From expiration to spindle turning: everything about the birth of your baby.

First this: every birth is unique. Nature does not comply with time schedules and the exact way a delivery is made depends on many factors. For example, how the baby lies in the pelvis, whether it is your first child or your second or how relaxed or anxious you are.

The digestion phase

To open (unlock), the cervix must first soften and expire. During the pregnancy the cervix is a stiff ‘tutted’, but the hormone propagandist makes it soft (soaked) and the contractions make it short (expired). Eventually the cervix runs flush with the uterine wall and can open up. The labor pains can be very clearly felt during the expiration and the first centimeters of access, but there are also women who at first hardly notice or doubt whether they are labor pains. At one point they come in a clear pattern, every three to five minutes, and they last for one to one and a half minutes. There is no longer any doubt: the disclosure continues. As you have more access, the contractions usually get stronger. This continues until the baby’s head fits through the cervix. Ten centimeters are used for this and you call that complete disclosure . Fore further details check out dry cervical mucus early pregnancy

How long does the opening phase last?

That varies enormously per woman. You can have full disclosure after an hour, but it can also take a day or more. The access usually also does not follow a fixed schedule of, for example, an inch per hour. There may be breaks in it, you can’t get along for an hour and half an hour later you are suddenly three centimeters away. With a first child the opening phase lasts on average about twelve to fifteen hours.

Transition or transition

They also call the last bit of access, the transition or transition phase. Your body is now fully committed to the last centimeters, which can be accompanied by powerful contractions that come one after the other. The baby’s head is low, and the pressure against the last edge of the cervix and lower back can be intense. In the meantime, the body prepares itself hormonal for the pressing phase . Physically and emotionally this can be tough: you can be very tired, feel desperate, shake, sweat, feel sick or vomit. But here too: not every woman experiences this and this transition is not always clearly distinguishable. When the expulsion phase starts, the ‘fresh courage’ usually returns. Because you now create adrenaline for the expulsion, you get new strength. Often women are also relieved because the birth is about to start and they can actively do something.

Short break?

Between full disclosure and the emergence of a press, the body can sometimes take a break. Nothing happens for a few minutes to sometimes several hours. If you and the baby are doing well, you can just wait until you get the press. Sometimes women even fall asleep for a while.

The expulsion phase

If you have complete disclosure and press desire, the birth can begin. The contractions push the baby a little further through the birth canal. According to many women, the urge to press feels like you have to poop terribly and cannot be stopped. How hard you have to push / press, differs per woman. Your body does most of the work and you press on feeling. If you do not feel well how to do this, the obstetrician or gynecologist can give directions.

The spindle turns

On the way out, the baby makes two turns: the internal and external spindle rotation. This is necessary because the entrance to the pelvis is an oval across, and the exit to the pelvis is an oval from front to back. Your baby’s head also has an oval shape. So he goes into the pelvis with his nose towards your side, because that fits best. Then he turns his nose in your pelvis towards your backbone (the inner spindle rotation). When his head has passed through the pelvic outlet (the head is born), he turns sideways again (the outer turn). His shoulders are then parallel to the pelvis exit and are born one by one. The rest of the body slides right behind it.

The head is standing

With every press contraction the head comes closer to the exit, but first it drops slightly after every contraction. The birth canal and perineum are thus prepared for the passage of the baby. At a certain moment the head remains visible between the contractions and does not bounce back: the head ‘stands’. That often gives a very burning sensation. In response, you stop pressing, or the midwife asks you to sigh and then push again. This gives the perineum the chance to stretch, so that the head can be born in peace. If you feel the burning ‘ring of fire’, then you know that you can almost hold your baby.

How long does the press phase take?

That also differs per woman. With a second child, the pressing phase usually goes much faster, but your posture can also have an influence: gravity cooperates with vertical (sitting) postures. On average, it takes one or two hours for a first child.

The afterbirth phase

While your baby is lying on your breast and you can see it for the first time, the placenta is born after about fifteen minutes to half an hour . This happens with one or two contractions, where you often have to squeeze a little. If you are going to breastfeed, the baby will help : you make extra oxytocin , which releases the placenta and comes out. It is important that this happens within an hour so that the uterus can shrink properly. The wound at the place where the placenta was so close and the blood loss stops. Occasionally the placenta does not come naturally. An oxytocin injection can then help. If this is not sufficient, the gynecologist removes the placenta under general anesthesia.

Stripping: what is it and how does it work?

Stripping is often used by the midwife as a means to start the delivery if you are late. It can cause contractions. What is it, how does it work and are there risks involved? If a pregnancy lasts longer than 42 weeks, there is a chance that the placenta will function less well, putting the baby at risk. Therefore, the rule applies that a woman is referred to the hospital from the age of 42 weeks, where the gynecologist can decide to induce labor with certain means.

Why strip?

Pangs induced by an artificial introduction are often more intense and prolonged than with natural childbirth. That is why different methods have been developed to start a natural birth before the 42 weeks. Stripping is one of the few methods whose effectiveness has been proven. When you are 41 weeks pregnant, there is a reasonable chance that you already have some access. Moreover, it can cause contractions within 48 hours.

How does it work?

When stripping, the pericardia from the uterine wall is loosened through the cervix with one or two fingers. This is only possible if the cervix is ‘ripe’ and everything is open. While stripping, the hormone propagandist is released, a substance that stimulates the maturation of the cervix and can induce contractions. Stripping does not take long, on average a few minutes. Stripping often happens from the 41 e  week. You can strip for the 41st week, but the effect has not been proven. The midwife usually makes the proposal himself, but you can also bring it up yourself. It can be done in practice, but also at your home.

From 41 weeks it makes sense

The Dutch study showed that stripping is useful between 41 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. Other conclusions are:

It makes your cervix more mature anyway

After stripping, the chance is greater that your birth will start spontaneously

Especially the first time stripping is successful

It has no influence on the rest of the birth

Stripping itself does not pose any risks; however, you can get some blood loss and painful hard bellies

Even if you are giving birth for the first time, stripping has an effect

Does it hurt?

Whether stripping is painful depends on a number of factors. Is the cervix still far back or has anything come forward? Is the cervix easily accessible? In addition, every woman has a different pain threshold and sensitivity of the vagina. In most cases, stripping is experienced as sensitive, not as painful.

Are there any risks?

There are no risks associated with stripping. You can, however, suffer from vaginal bleeding afterwards. This is harmless: it is temporary and stops automatically.

Is it the same as touch?

A frequently asked question is: is stripping the same as touch? The answer is no. Touching  is done by the midwife to check how much access there is. The midwife also feels how your baby is lying.