Thursday, 10 April 2014


The process of  child birth is called labour. It is labour because it is a time of work when the expectant mother  exacts a lot of energy in order to bring forth her baby.
Labour is the period from when a pregnant woman starts having contractions to  the time she finally delivers the baby.
Labour can also be defined as  the period of time from when the uterus begins to contract to the time the woman delivers.

Labour can be divided into three stages;

The period of time  from when labour starts to the time the cerxix is fully dilated is called the first stage of labour.Dilation of the cervix means that the contractions the expectant mother is having opens the cervix and it continues opening wider and wider until it is said to be fully dilated.
At a particular point in time in pregnancy normally at 40 weeks, labour starts. At first the contractions are not very strong and occurs at long intervals. With time, the contractions become stronger and more frequent. This is called the quiet phase of labour and  usually is not distressing. This period lasts longer in first pregnancies than in subsequent ones. As the contractions continues,  the muscle fibres of the uterus are shortened and a pull is exerted on the cervix. This pull on the cervix continues until the cervix begins to open. As the cervix continues to dilate or open, the contractions change and become stronger and more frequent. This is called the active stage.The expectant mother will feel pain, back pain and a pressure on her bladder and back passage.The amount of discomfort she experiences depends on her level of preparation during pregnancy.When the cervix is fully dilated the uterus and vagina together  form a curved passage along which the baby can pass of course aided by the contractions and the mother's efforts.

The begining of the second stage of labour is heralded by the bursting of the bag of waters , otherwise known as the rupture of the membranes. This is a gush of water from the vagina. When this happens, the mother to be suddenly feels the urge to push because of the pressure of the baby's head on the tissues in the middle of the pelvis. This is why child birth is called labour, the mother relaxes , reads, talks, listens to radio or watches television in the first stage, but in the second stage she  has to help in the birth  of her baby by pushing with every contraction until  the baby is born.
After the baby has been born, the placenta which has separated from its attachment to the wall of the uterus as the baby was being born has to come out. Doctors usually give the mother an injection which makes the uterus to contract firmly and which also reduces the amount of blood being lost by the mother.The expulsion  of the placenta marks the end of the third stage of labour.

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