Women

How Long will It Last? All about labor (part 3) - A natural breech birth & Positions for the second stage of labor

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A natural breech birth

If you are having a natural vaginal delivery with a breech birth, this will be carefully handled by an obstetrician. A vaginal breech birth can be slower than a head-first, cephalic, delivery as the bottom doesn't push down as much. The obstetrician will guide the baby out. Usually, the buttocks are delivered first and then the legs will be carefully guided out. The baby may then be rotated to deliver the shoulders as smoothly as possible. Lastly, the weight of the baby helps to draw the head down for delivery.

A vaginal breech birth:

This happens in stages as the baby is carefully guided out by an obstetrician. Once the buttocks and shoulders have been delivered, the weight of the baby's body then helps to draw down the head for delivery.

Stage 1

Stage 2

Stage 3

Positions for the second stage of labor

Although by this point in your labor you may be extremely tired and the contractions are lasting longer, it is best to resist any urge to lie down since this will not help the progress of the baby through the birth canal. Your partner can help support you while you hold certain positions and help you remain upright if possible so that gravity can assist your baby. Many women find squatting or kneeling on all fours the most comfortable, or if you really need to lie down, get your partner to support one leg so that the pelvis can remain as open as possible.

Sitting upright with supporting pillows helps you to relax between contractions.

Your partner and midwife can support you in upright positions.

Kneeling enables gravity to push the baby down the birth canal.


What happens to the placenta? Checking the afterbirth

The placenta has sustained your baby during her nine months in the womb, and what happens to it after its delivery is a common question.

  • The placenta will be checked to ensure it is complete and has been delivered successfully. If it looks healthy, it will be disposed of at the hospital.

  • It may be taken away for analysis in a laboratory if there is anything unusual in its appearance.

  • Some cultures perform ceremonies with the placenta; and in some parts of the world there is even a tradition of eating the placenta.

NOTE

Your newborn baby may look a bit scary—slippery and covered in blood—but embracing him in your arms is a great welcome

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