Ready to give birth? 10 questions to find out

Ready to give birth? 10 questions to find out

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Preparation for birth, choice of maternity, clothing and baby equipment for your baby ... you have everything planned for D-Day. But are you really ready? Are you unbeatable on the contractions, the epidural, episio ... 10 small "glues" to be really on top!

1. It is difficult to identify the "real" contractions that announce the imminence of childbirth.

  • False. You will recognize them right away! More intense and stronger than all those of pregnancy, the contractions announcing the birth enclose the whole belly and not only one side as it may be the case during these nine months. Another sign of recognition: they come back at regular intervals and last on average 30 to 40 seconds. When they are no more than ten minutes apart, go to the maternity ward!
  • If it is your second child, cervical dilatation is faster, leave as soon as the contractions are regular and well paced, whatever their interval. Once at the maternity ward, a vaginal examination and monitoring will verify that the work has started well.

2. The induced contractions are more painful.

  • True. A muscle that contracts naturally never does it 100%. On the other hand, when contractions are provoked for delivery, using a prostaglandin gel (a hormone that will speed up contractions) in the vagina or via an infusion, all the fibers are solicited at the same time. The pain felt by the mother is usually stronger.
  • Also know that during work, stress can increase the pain caused by contractions. The placenta secretes endorphins, natural painkillers that relieve some of the pain, but stress can cause adrenaline secretion blocking these calming endorphins.
  • It also happens that this tension is reflected in the cervix which will have more difficulty opening and will take longer to expand.

3. If the water pocket breaks, go to the maternity ward!

  • True. The amniotic fluid in the water pocket protects your baby from infections. If the wall ruptures, germs rising from the vagina are likely to infect it.
  • For a good third of women, the water pocket breaks before being really in work. If you are at term, this does not pose any particular problem: you just have to go to the maternity hospital within two hours. Most often, work gets underway quickly. If this is not the case, it will be caused within 24 to 48 hours maximum: the risk of infection increases with the duration of opening of the membranes.
  • Let's come to the most frequent course: the water pocket is torn spontaneously while the cervix has already begun to expand (between 4 and 10 cm). At the beginning of work, the water pocket contributes to the dilation of the cervix. Under the effect of contractions, she bombs like a balloon in the front of the baby's head and presses on the collar. Until the moment when the pressure is too strong, it tears and empties: the baby then goes down, his head settles on the neck, thus accelerating the end of the dilation.

4. If she does not tear, the midwife will break her.

  • True. If dilation of the cervix does not progress sufficiently, the midwife may break the water pocket herself to cause the baby to descend. With a small pointed utensil, she will gently scrape the membranes to make a small hole. Rest assured, it is painless and there is no risk of touching your baby's head. It may also be necessary to put your finger on the hole to avoid a too fast and violent flow that would take with it the umbilical cord in front of the baby's head. But if the dilation is done without slowing down, the medical team may choose not to touch the water pocket, to leave intact: it is said that the pocket "gives birth"!

5. There is only one position to give birth: on the back.

  • False. On the side, standing, sitting or even squatting ... it is possible (at least during work) to adopt other positions that lie on the back. Provided, of course, to have spoken with the team before D-Day!
  • On the back. This is the most appropriate position at the time of expulsion: it gives easy access to the perineum. But it is not necessarily comfortable throughout the work because it causes pain in the kidneys and does not promote good oxygenation. The vessels, especially the vena cava that carries blood to the heart, tend to be crushed.
  • On the side. This is probably the ideal position. For more comfort, you can fold the upper leg to your chest and slightly raise it with a small cushion. This promotes good oxygenation. Do not hesitate to test this position from the beginning of the work and even to keep it during the expulsion. Many women find it very comfortable and reassuring: grouped together, you may feel less vulnerable.
  • Standing. Thanks to the verticality, you will take advantage of the gravity. The water pocket will support the cervix and promote its dilatation. The delivery will be faster. Another good news: you will suffer less. Walking, moving, swaying, all these movements that relax and promote the production of endorphins, allies against pain. A position to adopt if your baby supports the contractions and if the water pocket has not cracked.
  • Sitting, on a balloon. It is ideal for massaging the perineal area and relaxing it, making it easier for the baby to descend.
  • Squatting is the "two in one" situation par excellence, because it combines the benefits of standing and sitting!

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