The big event… giving birth!

The big event… giving birth!

The big event… giving birth!

01 June 2019

Every birth is unique and every woman who has just given birth has her own experiences and opinions. The time ahead of you will be exciting and sometimes a little scary, but we would like to give you some facts about the stages of childbirth to ease your mind.

1. The opening up phase
As you know, you will feel contractions. These mean your uterus is contracting and your cervix is slowly opening up. This will allow your child to exit the uterus and pass through and out of your body. It is important to time when the contractions are close together. If the membranes have not yet been broken, this usually happens at this stage. During the contractions, your cervix will dilate between half to 1 CM per hour. This is, of course, different for everyone and proceeds much more quickly for some mothers than others. You will need to reach 10 cm on average to give birth to your baby.

2. The birthing phase
You will be giving birth to your baby in time with your contractions. During labor, you will be pushing your baby during the contractions and resting in between. Typically at this point your contractions will come every 3 minutes and last between 1 and 1.5 minutes.

You will continue this cycle until your baby is pushed out of your uterus and into the world. You can experiment to figure out which position is best for you to be in while pushing. Try to focus on your breathing and on pushing down rather than holding the tension in your head or chest.

3. Afterbirth phase
After the delivery, you will likely be so distracted by the joy of holding your baby that it will take effort to return to pushing out the placenta. Your body will continue to experience contractions for an average of half an hour more while it expels the placenta from your uterus. This is often called the afterbirth. You must push out the entire placenta and your doctor will be checking this, as pieces left behind can put you at risk for infections.

4. After the afterbirth
In the coming hours and days you will still feel mild contractions; these are meant to shrink your uterus to its original state. While you are breastfeeding, you may feel this more strongly as the hormones that are released during lactation also stimulate the contractions of your uterus.