• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Everything That You Need to Know About Childbirth (Parturition)

Parturition is a word that doesn’t quite exist in everyone’s vocabulary. Yet no one is unfamiliar with the term childbirth. Many of you may have learned about childbirth from here and there, but a good knowledge of what actually happens in the labor room is challenging to comprehend for most. It is particularly relevant for expecting mothers who are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their little one.

Likewise, many of those who search for maternity meaning often confuse pregnancy with childbirth. It is because the meaning of these words does not differ much from each other. Maternity entails the whole period when a woman is pregnant, along with sometime after childbirth. Here is what you need to know about parturition and how the process unfolds.

The Three Stages of Parturition or Childbirth

Parturition or birth is the process of bringing the baby from the womb into the world. There are three stages of childbirth of varying periods experienced by different women. These are :

  1. Dilation

  2. Expulsion

  3. Placental

1.  Dilation

pregnancy

Caption: Woman experiencing labor pain, Credit: Pixabay


Dilation refers to that phase when the process of labor begins. This stage lasts till the cervix gets fully dilated. It is further divided into latent phase and active phase. The latent phase takes around 5-8 hours in different women. In the active phase the cervix dilates at around 1-2 cm per hour.

2.  Expulsion

childbirth

Caption: A woman with her child, Credits: Pixabay


After the full dilation of the cervix is achieved, the next stage, i.e, expulsion begins. It is divided into passive phase and active phase. During the passive phase the baby’s head begins to move down through and out of the vagina. The active phase, lasting about 45 minutes is characterised by the woman requiring to contract the abdomen muscles and push the baby out. This stage ends with the newborn baby.

3.  Placental

baby

Caption: A fetus, Credits: Pixabay


The placental stage begins after birth. Here the doctor gently pulls out the placenta (the organ that connects the fetus to the wall of the uterus) that takes around 5 minutes. But sometimes it can take around 30 minutes.

What Are the Complications That Arise During the Stages of Childbirth

complications

Caption: A pregnancy in operation, Credits: Pixabay


Contrary to what you may expect, the process of childbirth can sometimes be       characterized by various complications. A woman attending birthing classes or prenatal classes are made aware about the potential complications that may develop during the parturition process. Following are the most common complications that are experienced by women:

  1. Passive heart rate of the baby

  2. Incorrect positioning of the baby

  3. The problem of nuchal cord

1.  Passive Heart Rate of the Baby

Sometimes during the childbirth process, the heart rate of the baby slows down to a considerable extent. A doctor makes use of a vacuum extractor or forceps to quicken the delivery process.

2.  Incorrect Positioning of the Baby

It is also known as a breech pregnancy. A healthy delivery is one in which the baby is pushed out of the vagina with its head down. During breech pregnancy, the baby is positioned feet down or sideways. It can be corrected with either a manual intervention by the doctor or by performing a C-section.

3.  The Problem of Nuchal Cord

Sometimes, the umbilical cord can wrap itself around the baby’s neck. If the mother is not able to push the baby out then it can become problematic for the baby. A doctor uses a vacuum extractor, or if that fails, decides to perform a C-section.

The pregnancy journey and the process of childbirth isn’t the same for every woman. It is marked by varying levels of physical health, psychological, and other changes. In Spite of the differences every expecting mom goes through the above three stages to bring out her child that makes up what is called as the parturition.

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