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What to expect during the labor

Normal pregnancy

The most important thing during the labor is to know how you can relax and calm down yourself as much as possible. The first stage of the labor is the longest one and most tiring whether women take pain relief medicine or not. It is very important to know how to breathe properly which supplies your blood with oxygen and help you relax better. While waiting some women can get so nervous that they might start to think what can happen in the worst case scenario. Therefore, it is very important to entertain yourself somehow during this stage. For different women can work different things. For instance, one woman can relax when her husband will do massage for her, but for another one it can be disturbing and even irritates her. In the hospital room most likely you will have a TV set, so you can watch it or listen music which ever work better for you. Future mommy should be able to focus only on delivering a baby and not on her pain or discomfort. It is essential because from wise mother’s behavior during the labor depends the most valuable what she has – life and health of her child. She should ask ahead about pain relief medicine if it is not against her plans, believes, or religion because no one knows when her active labor (second stage) will begin. Normally the nurse will call a doctor or midwife when your contractions start to be very frequent and a cervix completely open (fully dilated) at 10 centimeters. For the first pregnancy the first stage of the labor might take from 12 to 24 hours or sometimes even more. On the other hand, second stage of the labor will not last that long. Many women say that they gave birth within 30-40 minutes, while others indicate that it took them a couple of hours to deliver their babies. This number can vary depending on each individual case.

Pregnancy with complications

For pregnant women with complications, doctors or midwifes can induce the labor if they think that for a baby will be better outside than inside of the mother’s belly. In this case, they might put deep into a mother’s vagina medications called Prostaglandins that should dilate your cervix to prepare it for the labor. This medicine both ripens the cervix and stimulates the uterus to contract. Normally it takes up to 12 hours to soften the cervix. For this procedure your doctor or midwife will make an appointment with OB Triage somewhere in the evening that you can sleep most of these 12 hours. After that some women might go straight into the active labor. If not the health care provider will give you a drug called Pitocin via an intravenous (IV) very small dose at a time. Your doctor or midwife can use another combination of Pitocin and a thin tube called a catheter with a balloon at the tip. When the catheter is placed in your uterus, the balloon is inflated with water, which causes the cervix to expand. Women have to stay with this catheter for a few hours and if they want to use a bathroom then they have to go there with that inside. This balloon will stay there until it falls out itself. Normally it happens when your cervix open about 4-5 centimeters. In very rare cases where none of these methods will work, your health care provider has to break water to induce the labor. They do it at the very last possible moment because in the worst case even that won’t work your doctor has to do a C-section in order to save a baby.

Medical Disclaimer

The author is not a doctor and the information in the article is general in nature with no medical advises given or imply. Talk to your doctor, nurse or medical advisor how to treat health related problems.