Birth process is divided into three stages. The first stage begins with the depletion / opening of the cervix (cervical) to fully open. In the second stage, the baby pressing down through the birth canal (vagina) and ends with birth. While the third stage are removal of placenta and uterine wall.
Thinning of cervix
During labor, your doctor or midwife will insert a finger (covered with a glove) into the vagina to feel the changes in cervix. Examination is usually done with your back with knees bent. Some labor assistant (physician or midwife) using cervical examination to determine the position of the baby. By feeling the top of the baby's skull, the doctor or midwife can determine the direction of the baby (front, back or leaning on the side).
The first stage of labor usually the longest stage. It's about 8-15 hours on the first labor and 3-10 hours on the next labor. The process begins with the loss of mucus that blocks the entrance to the cervix. It is usually characterized by the onset of blood spotting or pinkish color.
Normally the cervix is closed by a ring-like muscles. It's rather thick and hard. When getting closer to the birth of the baby, the cervix will be soft and stretched (thinned) because of the pull of uterine muscle contractions. Once the cervix thinning, contractions intensity of the cervix will increase to open up to full (10 cm), so the baby can pass through.
Cervix in the first stage of labor
- During pregnancy, the length (approximately 2.5 cm) and thickened to protect the baby. The process of clearing and thinning work together to open the birth canal so that the baby's head can get into the vagina.
- Ahead of labor, the contractions will cause the cervix soft, thin and pulled, so the baby can get through it.
- The intensity of the uterine muscle contractions are getting stronger, makes the cervix neck widening.
- The baby's head can be seen after the opening of about 7 cm. Doctor will check the baby's position in pelvis. Baby's head is on the side or front of cervix.
- Cervix disappeared. This means that the opening was perfect (10 cm). Baby is ready to get through the vagina and cervix has become one.
Not all pregnant women will experience the same stages of labor. There are some differences because every birth is unique.
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