Monday, May 23, 2011

Animation of Baby Birthing - Stages of Labor

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Stages of Labor

Keeping fit and in a good mood in expectancy of your baby is a good practice. Repeat your daily affirmations and your daily relaxation practice. 
In the weeks before birth, your body increases production of other hormones – including prostaglandins, which soften the cervix, and oxytocin, which triggers the uterine muscles to contract.
True labor contractions (or as we call them surges) are rhythmic, and consistent. As the long vertical muscle bands of the uterus tighten, they pull the cervix open. The strong muscles at the top of the uterus push down and release, guiding your baby toward the cervix.

The uterine plug, a collection of thickened cervical mucus that's sealed your cervix shut for nine months, may be expelled days before or in the midst of labor.
When the amniotic sac ruptures, your water has broken. It can feel like a trickle or a gush of fluid.
Your cervix will begin opening and thinning, known as dilation and effacement.
Once you reach about 4 centimeters, your body will move into active labor.
In active labor, surges become stronger and closer together. 
At 8 centimeters, you enter what many consider the most exciting part of labor – transition. Relaxation is key here.
By 10 centimeters, think of your birth as a bird, let go of the bird.

You're fully dilated and may feel the urge to push. Resist. This is your signal that the second stage of labor has begun. Breathe the long slow breaths.
Your baby will move down with each surge. The three separate soft bones of the baby's head will temporarily overlap so the baby can pass through the snug birth canal/baby path.
Again, relaxation is key here. You must direct all your attention to relaxation of the birth path. Visualizations are very effective at this stage.
Your baby's scalp will come into view. When the widest part of his head is visible, your baby is "crowning." With several more surges, and your breaths, your baby's face, shoulders, and body will emerge.
In the third and final stage of labor, your placenta detaches and is expelled.
With your baby's first breath, the incredible journey of birth is complete.
How will you welcome your baby?

What is your baby's name?

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