women

Labor and birth : 2nd and 3rd Stages (part 3) - Delivering your Baby - Your birth partner

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
Rest of the body

After the delivery of the head, your baby will turn slightly so that the first shoulder can be delivered in the next contraction. Your doctor may help by applying gentle traction to your baby’s head at the side to help the first shoulder emerge. Once the first shoulder has been delivered, your baby will turn again slightly so that the second shoulder can be delivered. After this, the rest of the body will slip out and the delivery of your baby will be complete.

Monitoring you and your baby

In the second stage, the baby’s heartbeat and your contractions are monitored. If the second stage is becoming prolonged, with the possibility of you becoming tired from pushing, an assisted delivery may be suggested with forceps or vacuum.

Episiotomies

An episiotomy is a cut made between your vagina and anus to aid the delivery. Around 30 years ago, episiotomies were routine since it was assumed that a cut prevented worse tears. This has been shown since not to be the case, and today, an episiotomy is only done by a doctor to aid a forceps delivery or in an emergency, for example if the baby is in distress; if the baby is large; or if the perineum is tight. Before doing the procedure, the doctor should explain why they think it is necessary and should obtain your verbal consent.

Before you’re cut, you’ll have a local anesthetic to numb the area. The cut is usually done at an angle between the vagina and the rectum and will be stitched after the birth. The doctor will insert a long absorbable stitch in the posterior wall of the vagina, in your perineal muscle layer, and under the skin layer. If you feel discomfort, the stitches can be snipped or taken out.

You may be given oral analgesics for pain relief after you’ve been stitched, and anti-inflammatory medication may be recommended. Ice packs or a maternity cooling gel pad can ease pain and swelling, and bathing can be soothing.

Perineal tears

Some women tear naturally during the delivery of their baby and this tends to be more common in a first labor. Spontaneous tears are classified by their severity and the tissue layers involved. A first degree tear involves the skin layer only; a second degree tear involves the skin and muscle-tissue layers; a third degree tear involves skin, muscle, and the anal sphincter. Fourth degree tears are uncommon and involve a tear through to the rectum. A first degree tear usually doesn’t need stitches, but second, third, and fourth degree tears do. Second degree tears are the most common. Only, a small number of women sustain third or fourth degree tears, which are usually associated with assisted deliveries.

The birth passage, far from being straight, involves a series of rotational maneuvers known as the “mechanisms of labor.”

This curve, known as the “curve of Carus,” is thought to result from the evolution of humans from being on all fours to being upright. This caused the spine to curve, the pelvis to tilt, and gave a curve to the birth canal. Your pelvic floor muscles help the head rotate through the birth canal.

… Your birth partner
Support in the second stage

In the second stage, your partner’s support is invaluable. His or her role is to make you feel supported and safe and to offer lots of encouragement.

Your birth partner can provide verbal support to help you deal with the strenuous task of pushing your baby out with each contraction. There may be times when you’re not lucid and your partner will need to speak for you and liaise with medical staff.

In addition to emotional support, your birth partner can act as your physical support in whatever position you adopt in the second stage, whether this is a squatting position or another position that you find comfortable. Your partner will be able to massage your back if this is helpful, and can hold you and comfort you and help you focus on your breathing during and between each contraction.

Your partner can also watch as your baby’s head crowns and describe what he or she can see, or hold a mirror for you to see the baby’s head, which can be deeply reassuring as you realize that the end is in sight.

The emotional and physical support provided by your birth partner can be crucial during the second stage of labor, the time when you are having to exert yourself physically to push your baby down in your pelvis and out through the birth canal.

… How you’re feeling
Coping in the second stage

The second stage of labor can be a time when instinct takes over and you may find that you are oblivious to everything around you as you follow the overwhelming urge to push. You may have been concerned before labor about how you would behave during the delivery. Some women are worried that they will defecate while they are pushing. This is actually very common and it’s natural to pass a stool during the delivery; you should rest assured that the nurses and doctors will be completely used to this. You may not even notice yourself that this has happened.

Rather than be concerned about how you will act, try to take encouragement from the fact that you now have more control over your labor and are actively pushing your baby out. You may find that you want to grunt or moan while pushing, or you may push quietly and intensely. Focusing on the imminent arrival of your baby will help you to persevere.

Pushing with an epidural

If you have had an epidural, this can affect your awareness of when to bear down and push. If this is the case, your doctor will first check that your baby isn’t showing signs of distress, and may then decide to wait a while for the epidural effect to wear off slightly so you can feel when to bear down and push. Alternatively, the doctor will feel the top of your uterus so that she is aware of when a contraction is starting and will then guide you to bear down and push.

Shoulder dystocia

This is an emergency situation during a delivery that occurs when the baby’s head has been successfully delivered, but the shoulders appear to be stuck. Since the head may be delivered fairly easily, the problem is often not discovered until this point in labor, and immediate action is then needed to deliver the rest of the body safely. The danger is that, if the baby is not delivered rapidly, he may be starved of oxygen. The doctor will need to apply firm traction on the baby’s head and neck to encourage first one and then the next shoulder to be delivered. An episiotomy (see Episiotomies) may need to be performed to assist the rapid delivery of the baby.

Shoulder dystocia is more likely to occur where the baby is particularly large, where the mother has a small pelvis, or in women with diabetes or who are obese. If this condition has occurred in a previous pregnancy, then an obstetrician may be necessary at the birth.

Birth story: water birth

Becky is a 22-year old woman in her first pregnancy. She’d had no problems and at her 36 week appointment, she discussed her birth plan and told her doctor that she wanted a water birth at the local birth center.

Becky’s birth story: By the time I was two days overdue I was having irregular contractions. I’d had a bloody show and had a backache. The next day I woke at 6:30 am with regular contractions. I coped using breathing techniques, stayed active, and used a birthing ball. When my contractions were every 5 minutes and lasting a minute, I called the birth center since I felt I needed to use the pool. They said they would get it ready.

At 11:35 am, my partner and I reached the center and met the doctor. She felt my contractions, listened to the baby’s heartbeat and did a vaginal examination. She said I was in established labor since I was 5 cm dilated, my cervix was 50 percent effaced, and the head was descending. In the pool, I was able to move around and change position. The warm water eased my backache and contractions. I felt calmer and started to relax. I found kneeling in the water and rocking my pelvis back and forth and from side to side helpful. My partner supported me and periodically the doctor listened to my baby’s heart rate.

At 3:20 pm, my contractions were every 1 to 2 minutes and very strong. The doctor and my partner reassured me and I managed to focus. I began to feel the urge to bear down. At 3:50 pm, my baby’s head was born and a couple of minutes later I pushed my baby out into the water. The doctor gently lifted my baby up to me and we stayed in the water a few moments. I got out to deliver the placenta, which I did without drugs. At 4:20 pm my placenta was delivered and I didn’t need stitches.

The doctor’s comments: Becky found the warm water helped her deal with contractions, and she stayed calm. She tried different positions and the water kept her buoyant. She and her partner were focused. Her labor progressed well and was just under 10 hours. It was wonderful to observe.

Top search
women
- 6 Ways To Have a Natural Miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Can You Eat Crab Meat During Pregnancy?
- Grape Is Pregnant Women’s Friend
- 4 Kinds Of Fruit That Can Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Some Drinks Pregnant Women Should Say No With
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
- Why Do Pregnant Women Have Stomachache When Eating?
- Top Foods That Pregnant Women Should Be Careful Of
- 6 Kinds Of Vegetable That Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
Other
women
- “I Gained 45kg During Pregnancy”
- Learning To Manage Stress : Conceptual Methods Of Coping With Stress, Strategies For Supervisors To Help Employees Manage Stress
- Labor and birth : 1st Stage of Labor (part 5) - Positions for First Stage of Labor
- Labor and birth : 1st Stage of Labor (part 4) - Monitoring During Labor
- Labor and birth : 1st Stage of Labor (part 3) - Changes to the cervix,Posterior presentation
- Labor and birth : 1st Stage of Labor (part 2) - How Labor Progresses - When it’s time to go to the hospital
- Labor and birth : 1st Stage of Labor (part 1) - Approaching Labor
- Understanding Stress : Burnout: An Occupational Hazard
- Understanding Stress : How Stress Affects Our Physical Self, Stress In The Workplace
- Winter-Proof Your Body (Part 3) - Steal tips from the experts
 
women
Top keywords
women
Miscarriage Pregnant Pregnancy Pregnancy day by day Pregnancy week by week Losing Weight Stress Placenta Makeup Collection
Women
Top 5
women
- Cinnamon: A natural treatment for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
- 5 Tips for Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 2)
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 1)
- Is Your Mental Health Causing You to Gain Weight (part 2) - Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain