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The stages of labor and delivery

The stages of labor and delivery

The process of labor is not a single fixed event, but rather a series of successive events. The first labor usually lasts between 12-24 hours, with an average of 14 hours. As for the labor of mothers who have given birth before, it lasts between 4-8 hours, with an average of 6 hours.

The duration of labor and how it progresses varies from one woman to another and from one birth to another. Although each process of labor is a distinct case from other cases, the sequence of events is similar in almost any labor.

Labor is divided systematically into four stages: the first stage, which occurs when the uterus itself opens the cervix, allowing the child to come out; The second stage is pushing and giving birth (baby birth); The third stage is the placental stage (placenta). The first stage is the longest. The fourth period is the first 1-4 hours after the birth of the placenta where the risk of bleeding is high.

First stage
In the first stage, the cervix opens or dilates during labor, allowing the baby to move down into the vagina in preparation for pushing and delivery; with time, the cervix changes from being completely closed to being completely open (meaning dilation of about 10 cm), and this dilation is sufficient for the head of the baby to pass through it.

When labor begins, the cervix is closed, but these contractions cause the cervix to open.

This role is divided into three stages: early labor, active labor, and transitional labor.

During early labor, the woman should

ü Keep calm and relax.

ü Walk and take a rest.

ü Take a warm shower to relieve aches and pains.

ü Eat and drink, if desired.

ü Walk around the house.

ü Relax as much as possible to relieve aches and pains.

ü Eat several snacks that contain foods rich in carbohydrates.

ü Change the position of the body.

During active labor, the woman should go to the hospital and can do the following

ü Breathing and relaxation exercises.

ü Changing her position, such as taking a walk or asking for a massage, to relax.

ü An analgesic and pain-relieving injection can be taken.

During the transitional stage, the woman should

ü Be patient, cooperate with the instructions, and relax between each contraction and the next.

ü During contractions, try a posture that is comfortable and appropriate for her.

ü Maintain the same breathing rate (with the air inhaled through the nose and slowly excreted through the mouth).


The second stage: is the birth of the child
The second stage of natural childbirth, which is pushing and giving birth, begins when the cervix is fully dilated and ends with the birth of the baby.


What is required of the woman during the exit of the child?

ü Push when you feel a strong desire to do so while trying to conceal yourself and persevere in the matter if possible.

ü Standing, kneeling, or squatting. It helps to take advantage of the earth's gravity for the child to come out.

ü Stretch to the left side to rest.


Third stage: Delivery of the placenta
The third stage of natural childbirth is the placenta previa stage: this stage usually takes five minutes and may sometimes reach half an hour, and here the mother may be injected with a substance that stimulates contractions to prevent bleeding.

What is required of the woman during the delivery of the placenta from the uterus?

ü Enjoy getting to know her newborn.

ü Immediately prepare for breastfeeding by placing the newborn on the breast.


Fourth stage

 The first 2 to 4 hours after birth. The woman should be monitored at this stage because she is more prone to postpartum hemorrhage, and it is desirable and even recommended that the newborn remains in the mother's same room unless the health condition of either of them requires otherwise.