What happens during labor?
We can start childbirth because we start having contractions, we have broken the water or we have had to cause it for different reasons. Contractions are indispensable during labor and will allow dilation of the cervix and expulsion of the baby and placenta. In the early stages of labor, they are usually irregular, but as labor progresses, contractions become more frequent and intense. They start at the top of the uterus and end at the bottom, last about a minute, and can take anywhere from one to five in ten minutes. The time between contraction and contraction is so important that we take advantage of it to relax and charge ourselves.
The pain tolerance of the birth contractions is individual for each woman and, therefore, we have different methods to alleviate it depending on the experience we have during the process.
Childbirth goes through different stages, in which the professional team seeks both the physical and emotional well-being of both the mother and baby.
© Mireia Navarro
It is important to recognize and appreciate the sensations and changes that take place in our body that tell us that labor could be triggered in a matter of hours or days - this is what we know as labor prodrugs. Each woman may experience them differently in their appearance and duration.
Birth prodromals are very variable but usually consist of:
- Uterine contractions, which resemble the annoyances of the rule. Other women experience it as "punctures" in the lower abdomen. They can be seen manually as a progressive hardening of the abdomen.
- Expulsion of the mucous plug- is the exit through the vagina of a thick mucous substance, which may have a whitish, pink or brownish color and varies in quantity, may be expelled suddenly or slowly. This process is not always appreciated, and when it occurs it can take hours or even days. There is no reason to go to the hospital: delivery is near but not imminent. Expulsion of the mucous plug or rupture of the bag is often accompanied by slight bleeding, usually in the form of blood streaks or small patches. This is normal and you should not go to emergency services.
It is time to check if you have everything you will need during your maternity stay. (See Basket for admission to the Hospital >>>).
It is also important that you carry all the tests and tests performed during pregnancy when you go to the emergency room.
How does childbirth begin?
We consider childbirth to begin, spontaneously, when contractions return regular, they are growing in intensity (meaning they are becoming more and more noticeable strong), last longer and they do not give in with the rest. It may happen that you simultaneously break the water bag. It is important when you notice the discharge of the liquid and its color as they will be data that will ask you when you get to the emergency room. At other times, the pouch may spontaneously rupture without the birth contractions yet.
Have I "broken waters"?
El bag breakage, or "water", is the outflow of amniotic fluid through the vagina, regardless of the amount or frequency.
It can be frank (you expel a large amount of fluid) or high (the outflow of fluid is gradual and can be mistaken for flow). If in doubt, you should go to the hospital to confirm or rule out the rupture of the bag.
If the color of the waters is yellow, green or very dark, you must immediately go to the hospital. If the liquid is clear you have to go but in no hurry.
In any case, at 12 o'clock the rupture of the water bag will begin antibiotic treatment to reduce the risk of infection of the baby.
Alarm signs (ALWAYS go to emergency services)
- Abundant bleeding similar to or greater than menstruation.
- Amniotic fluid loss that is not clear (yellow, green, dark).
- Break of the water bag for more than 12 hours.
- Absence of fetal movements.
High fever of more than 38 ºC.