Preparing for BirthWednesday, April 18, 2012 - 13:40
No two births are alike. Labor is a series of changing conditions, and no amount of examination can predict how a woman or her baby will respond.
What Type Of Delivery Is Best?
The mother's health and/or baby's condition will largely determine the type of delivery.
- Vaginal birth is the traditional style of delivery in which the mother is an active participant.
- Cesarean birth is a surgical delivery through an abdominal incision.
Often the position of your baby or the
Is This Labor?
Labor is a series of uterine contractions that open the cervix for birth.
Your due date is a good guide in determining if you are indeed in labor. But it's important to remember that babies are often born days or weeks before or after due dates.
Signs the baby will soon be born include:
- Irregular tightening or contractions of the uterus
- Increased and thickened vaginal secretions
- Pink or brown-tinged discharge indicating breakdown of the mucus plug sealing the uterus
Labor often starts slowly. Regular, uncomfortable contractions that come more often than one every 10 minutes may mean the woman is in labor.
Many women are told to leave for the hospital when contractions are 5 to 10 minutes apart or if there is bleeding or leaking of
If your physician believes continuing the pregnancy might harm you or your baby, he or she may induce labor. Induction of labor often involves chemical or physical stimulation. Techniques include:
- Physical stimulation to loosen the
amniotic sacfrom the uterine wall
- Rupturing the membranes with a special tool
- Administering a drug to start labor, either by giving it intravenously (oxytocin) or into the vagina (prostaglandins)