All carrying women experience obstetric labour during childbirth. Obstetric labour is the repeated contraction of the uterus during childbirth. Dilation of uterine cervix also happens during labour. When the labour is successful, both the placenta and fetus is expulsed.
Signs of labour: It is very difficult to predict the date of onset of labour pain. The doctor shall however mention a rough date for reference. Labour pain shall begin either 2 weeks after the date or 3 weeks prior to this date. Some of the following symptoms are experienced prior to labour pain:
The entire labour and delivery process is sub-divided into 3 stages. The 1st stage is further constituted by into 3 phases. They are latent phase, active phase and transition phase. Latent phase is the phase in which there are more frequent contractions. These contractions occur frequently to dilate the cervix. Dilation is only about 3-4 cm. This shall facilitate in a more easy movement of baby through the birth canal. Dilation during the active phase is 4-7cm. Intense back pain may be experienced during each contractions. In the transition phase, complete dilation of the cervix upto 10cm is achieved. Contractions during this stage are very painful. The frequency of contractions is also high, occurring once in every 3-4minutes. The complete opening of the cervix begins the second stage. Adequate pushing is given so that baby can easily move through the birth canal. In order to fit through narrow canal, the baby has soft spots (called fontanels) on the head. Suction of the amniotic fluid, mucus & blood is performed from the mouth & nose of the baby as soon as the baby comes out. Continuous pushing is provided by the mother even this stage. The baby is delivered and the umbilical cord is cut. Stage 3 comprises of delivering the placenta. This is the organ that provides the nutrients to the baby. Techniques are employed to relieve the intense pain during delivery. Medications such as anesthetics and analgesics are usually provided. Non-medical techniques include frequently changing the position, relaxation techniques etc.