When a pregnancy comes to its logical conclusion, every woman begins to experience anxiety about the upcoming birth. Even those women in labor who have already gone through this process and have children cannot avoid certain fears and questions. After all, every time childbirth takes place in its own way, and it is impossible to predict exactly how everything will be in this case. And therefore, from about the thirty-fourth week, it is necessary to start attending courses for pregnant women, passing online seminars on this topic and studying other information posted on forums and various sites. In general, preparation for childbirth should take several weeks. What to include in it is described in this article.
Let's talk about the birth process
Preparing a pregnant woman for childbirth is not always given due attention. Most often, in various courses, women are told about the three stages of the birth process, they are taught respiratorygymnastics and try to reduce the level of fear in primiparas. However, in fact, many pregnant women note that they did not have enough information on how to properly respond to everything that happens to the body and control this process. After all, it is known that those women who take an active part in childbirth go through them more painlessly and have every chance of avoiding breaks.
Therefore, any process of preparing for childbirth should include several important points, which we will consider in the article:
- setting due date;
- signs of contractions that have begun;
- list of things needed for the maternity hospital;
- need and possibility of pain relief;
- three stages of the birth process;
- pros and cons of partner births;
- preparation of the cervix for childbirth;
- selection of courses for pregnant women and the maternity hospital.
Of course, expectant mothers have a lot of questions regarding childbirth. Many of them are embarrassed to ask, and therefore experience nervousness and fear. This negatively affects their emotional state and affects the baby. Sometimes such problems even slow down the onset of labor or prevent the process from proceeding naturally. Therefore, every pregnant woman in preparation for childbirth should be taken very seriously and be sure to allocate time for this, even if she works until the last days of bearing the crumbs.
Date of birth: calculate the exact day of the baby's birth
In childbirth preparation courses, specialists only briefly touch uponEstimated date when you can expect the start of contractions. But, in fact, this topic worries most pregnant women. As practice shows, the real and estimated date of birth often have significant differences. This causes a lot of fears in women, they are worried that contractions may start unexpectedly, they will not have time to get to the hospital and this will harm the baby. Therefore, expectant mothers begin to fall into two extremes: they insist on hospitalization several weeks in advance, or they are so worried that they provoke premature birth in themselves with such a condition. To avoid such problems, you need to clearly understand when to expect contractions.
So, first of all, the expectant mother should know that the expected date of birth, which was set by the obstetrician, and the ultrasound examination cannot be considered accurate. A very small percentage of women give birth at this time, but it allows you to navigate the weeks and be ready to leave for the maternity hospital at the right time.
In modern obstetrics, full-term pregnancy is considered from the thirty-seventh to forty-second weeks. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that this time interval is subject to a certain classification:
- Early term. This category includes children born in the period from the thirty-seventh to the thirty-eighth week and six days. Babies are fully viable and ready to exist outside the mother. In their condition, they are no different from children who were born later.
- Full term. Most newborns delight their mothers with the appearance inthirty nine to forty weeks and six days. This interval is considered classic and by this time the woman should be fully prepared for the upcoming process.
- Late term. If your baby has decided to be born at forty-one weeks or forty-one weeks and six days, then do not worry. The baby did not linger inside you at all, he just waited in the wings, which is quite within the norm.
- Delayed. Within forty-two weeks, doctors usually diagnose postmaturity. But for this diagnosis, they conduct a lot of additional examinations to eliminate the error in setting the estimated date of birth.
Based on the information received, preparation for childbirth should be fully completed by the thirty-sixth week. From this period, the pregnant woman should be more often at home or in the circle of close people who will help her in case of contractions. A woman should carry with her all the documents necessary for admission to the maternity hospital and a charged cell phone with enough money on her balance to contact relatives.
It is also necessary to have a clear idea that preparation for childbirth consists in moral and informational preparation. In no course should you be given any pills, advise infusions or decoctions for a speedy resolution of the burden. Such interference with natural processes is unacceptable and in almost one hundred percent of cases will lead to a tragic outcome.
What is the preparation for childbirth in the first place? What women need to knowthirty-sixth week? We will discuss this topic in the section on choosing courses for pregnant women.
Let's go to the hospital: we will discuss the harbingers
Information about how childbirth is usually reassuring for women. After all, by owning it, they know exactly what to expect and will be able to classify the problem if it occurs.
So, labor should be expected in speed if you notice that it has become easier for you to breathe. This is due to the fact that the baby's head descends into the pelvic region and the stomach, as if, is located lower than usual. This can happen two to three weeks before delivery. Sometimes expectant mothers notice that the stomach has dropped just a couple of days before the baby is born. In any case, this fact is the first harbinger of the upcoming birth.
In parallel, vaginal discharge increases. They may have a brownish or pinkish tinge, and are often white. In this way, the mucous plug leaves, which throughout the entire pregnancy prevented the penetration of any infections from the vagina into the uterus.
Often training contractions become more frequent a couple of weeks before delivery. They differ from real ones in the absence of regularity and almost painlessness. With a change in position, the pain usually goes away and doesn't come back.
The harbingers of the upcoming birth include pulling and dull pain in the lower back, slight weight loss within two kilograms and a feeling of pressure in the pubic area. All of the above symptoms indicate that your family will soon be replenished with a baby. Howeveryou should not go to the hospital with such signs, but the following characteristics should make you call the ambulance or your husband to go with him to the birth.
First of all, pay attention to bloody discharge from the vagina and discharge of amniotic fluid. They can move away immediately or flow out gradually, but it is difficult to confuse them with something else. Amniotic fluid should be transparent, small white lumps of primordial lubricant are acceptable. But the greenish or brown color of the liquid is a danger signal. It means that meconium got into the amniotic fluid and the baby risks his life every minute. In this case, it is important to get under the supervision of doctors as soon as possible, warning them by phone about your condition.
Regular contractions also become a reason to immediately go to the maternity hospital. They always go on increasing, gradually reducing the intervals to ten minutes. If you notice that the pain is getting stronger, then it's time to go to the hospital. However, before that, be sure to do an intimate haircut and a cleansing enema. Of course, the last procedure is also done in the maternity hospital, but many women are embarrassed by strangers and prefer to carry out all the manipulations at home. It is noteworthy that in the preparation courses for childbirth, many experts say that you can refuse an enema. However, midwives always note that such a solution is fraught with problems during attempts. Since the baby presses on the intestines during passage through the birth canal, all its contents in the process may involuntarily come out. Therefore, this delicatethe issue should be resolved in favor of an enema.
Packing a bag for the hospital
Any woman who has attended childbirth preparation courses knows pretty well what to take with her. However, it should be borne in mind that the list of things must be checked against the one located in the hospital where you plan to give birth. Each institution has the right to impose certain restrictions, so in this section we will provide a fairly generalized list of things needed in a hospital.
Naturally, the most important documents for pregnant women are. They need to be put in a separate file and always carried with you. You will need a passport, an exchange card, a he alth insurance policy, a pension insurance card, a birth certificate, and a service agreement concluded with a medical institution. The last papers are needed if you have agreed on paid childbirth.
For yourself, you should put washable slippers, a comfortable bathrobe, a pair of nightgowns or pajamas in your bag. After giving birth, women will need bra pads, highly absorbent pads, disposable underpants, and body care products. Don't forget your shower supplies, toothbrush and toothpaste.
Put baby items in a separate bag. The baby will need diapers, several sets of clothes, cotton pads and sticks, powder (at the discretion of the mother), socks, a hat and anti-scratch mittens on the handles.
Decision on pain relief
All women dream of childbirth without pain. But, unfortunately, this natural process cannotpass without pain. However, at the moment there are a number of techniques to reduce discomfort. They are divided into non-drug and pharmacological.
The first ones are always told in some detail in prenatal schools. These include massage of certain points on the body, hypnosis, meditation, self-hypnosis, acupuncture and others. Depending on your preferences, you can choose the most effective method of anesthesia for you. However, keep in mind that you need to work it out for several months, otherwise, in a stressful situation, you will forget about everything that you were taught in the courses.
Pharmacological methods to anesthetize childbirth quite a lot. But obstetricians and ordinary women often argue about them. Despite the fact that the effect of the drugs used on the body of the future mother and baby is well studied, it is believed that the introduction of drugs has a negative effect on labor activity. Often, doctors write that the use of medications that reduce sensitivity causes various injuries and provokes numerous tears during attempts. Therefore, in any case, the decision always remains with the obstetricians who take birth. Only they can administer this or that drug to you, but if you refuse to insist, it’s still not worth it - specialists are responsible for you and the he alth of the newborn.
How is labor progressing?
Expectant mother should be fully aware of what she will have during the birth process. It is best that she take an active part in everything thathappening. This is the key to a successful resolution of the burden and successful cooperation with doctors. They argue that trained women behave more calmly and confidently. They listen carefully to the midwives and follow all their recommendations. Therefore, we will look at all three stages of childbirth and talk about what will happen at each of them.
The contraction period is the first and longest. Women giving birth for the first time note that it lasts up to twelve hours. The next time this stage is reduced to seven to ten hours. During this time, the cervix dilates and prepares to let the baby through. The preparation of the cervix for childbirth occurs gradually to exclude ruptures and other injuries. The slower this happens, the more likely it is that the birth will be successful. Contractions at the first stage become more and more frequent. Initially, they last no more than twenty seconds and occur after fifteen minutes. As the cervix dilates, they go every minute and last up to sixty seconds.
Pushing becomes the second stage of childbirth. Its duration depends on the physiological characteristics of the woman and how she will follow the recommendations of obstetricians. Keep in mind that the pushing period can last up to two hours. However, all this time the baby will experience a lack of oxygen, and therefore it is necessary to help him to be born. Attempts are an involuntary contraction of the muscles, which allows you to literally push the crumbs out. A woman can and should control these contractions. At this stageshe needs to listen carefully to the doctors and push or hold back when necessary.
This period does not end with the birth of a baby, because the female body must still reject the placenta. This process usually stretches for thirty minutes, and the doctor who came out carefully examines so that not a single piece remains inside, which can lead to an inflammatory process and bleeding in the future.
At the third stage of labor, the umbilical cord is cut, the woman is examined for tears, and the baby is checked and manipulated. About two hours after birth, the mother spends under the supervision of doctors and with a dropper. If everything is in order, the woman will be transferred to another department, where a baby will be brought to her in a few hours.
The truth about partnered birth
One can argue endlessly about their necessity, but if we are talking about preparing for childbirth, then it is better for a pregnant woman to go through it with some close person. It has been proven that in a stressful situation, which, undoubtedly, is childbirth, a woman is well influenced by the presence of a loved one. In addition, a partner can not only help a woman in labor, but also partly control the actions of doctors. Unfortunately, they are not always professionals in their field, and the presence of an adequate person in the delivery room can be crucial.
However, I would like to note that you should not insist on partner childbirth with your husband if he does not want it. This decision must be voluntary and mutual, otherwise your man will experiencesevere stress and will not be able to help you. In such situations, you can take your mother, girlfriend, or any other person in whom you are confident with you.
Preparing for childbirth: what to do
Childbirth is not only a serious emotional stress, but also a physical burden on the body. If you are well prepared for it, then there is a high probability that everything will go well, and the recovery process will not take much time. Not the last role in the resolution of the burden is the preparation of the uterus for childbirth. You can learn about the methods and exercises that contribute to this in courses for pregnant women. Typically, a gymnastics complex combines yoga, Kegel exercises and stretching. However, do not practice at home. Remember that such physical activity should be supervised by specialists. Otherwise, you may go into premature labor. Preparing the cervix is a long process. It takes at least three months.
If you are afraid of tears and care about the elasticity of tissues, then be sure to purchase oil to prepare for childbirth and massage the perineum with it. Starting from the thirty-sixth week, this is done daily. The procedure usually involves dipping your fingers into oil and slowly stretching the back of your vagina. The process can be accompanied by pressure and last about ten minutes. Judging by the reviews, women highly appreciate Weleda oil to prepare for childbirth. It is sterile, softens tissues and increases their elasticity. Weleda oil (preparing for childbirth) is notcauses allergies and can later be used as a regular skin care product.
Choose courses and maternity hospital
Today, women can choose the institution where they plan to give birth. Do not refuse this opportunity and read reviews on the forums, visit the maternity hospital and learn about its rules, and also talk with doctors. It is better if you already know people to take delivery. This provides a special level of emotional stability and a feeling of peace.
There are quite a lot of courses for pregnant women now. They have different orientations and accents, so the choice always remains with the woman. However, please note that a good childbirth school should include the following points in its program:
- breathing techniques;
- learning the stages of childbirth;
- methods of pain relief by massage and other methods;
- features of newborn care;
- differences between normal and abnormal births.
It is important that information about the upcoming birth is as complete and useful as possible, then the pregnancy will end safely.