Labor and delivery are undoubtedly two of the most difficult parts of pregnancy but also the most exciting too as you finally come close to meeting the baby that you have carried for nine months. Knowing what to expect during this end stage of your pregnancy means that you can be more in control of your care. Below we outline some of the signs of labor, ways of relieving pain and delivery options.
Signs that you are in labor
Once labor gets going, it is hard to mistake the signs but in the early stages, things can start off on a more subtle note. You will experience contractions that gradually become longer and more painful and these may be accompanied by back pain. In some cases, women may also get a "show" of pink mucous.
If you are having a hospital birth, you can usually hold off going in until your pain becomes unmanageable or your waters break. Check with your doctor or midwife if you are unsure.
Pain relief in labor
Breathing exercises can help you to cope with the pain of your contractions but if this gets too much you may be offered Entonox gas. TENS machines which deliver electrical impulses to your nerves can also be hired in advance.
When you are in active labor, you may ask for an injection of Pethidine; this is usually injected in your leg and tends to give very effective relief while still allowing you to move around. It may also be an option to have an epidural which will numb you totally from the waist down so you will have to remain in bed but it does make the remaining part of your labor more comfortable.
Natural Birth Vs. C-Section
Most women are capable of giving birth in the natural way but, in some cases, it may be necessary to have a caesarean-section which is usually carried out under local anaesthetic. You may already know if you are going to be having this, otherwise it may only be recommended if the labor is not progressing in the expected way or if your baby appears to be in distress.
Whichever way you deliver your baby, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you have accomplished a momentous feat. In the meantime, prepare as much as you can for this event and make sure you know the signs of labor and what to expect during this end point of pregnancy so that nothing takes you by surprise.
Did you find those tips on labor and delivery useful? You can learn a lot more about pregnancy, childbirth and parenting click here : Essential Guide To Pregnancy