During a vaginal birth process, labor pain occurs due to the series of strong and regular contractions of uterus muscles in order to push the baby out of the womb. This pain is mostly experienced in form of backache and cramps every 5-10 minutes interval.
The period of labor pain can vary from several minutes to many hours. It is similar to the pain felt during the menstruation cycle but its intensity is very high than the menstrual pain.
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Stages of labor pain
There are three stages of labor pain during childbirth which are:
This stage lasts about 12 – 19 hours and it begins when the baby gets settled in the pelvis and the cervix becomes dilated or widened in response, the mother feels strong regular contractions occurring every 5 – 20 minute intervals. She also feels strong cramps and back pain which doesn’t go away.
Mother can notice a brownish or pinkish discharge which can be the mucous plug and the cervix will be opened. Removal of a mucous plug is followed by the breaking of water which can be experienced in form of a sudden gush of fluid or continuous trickle of fluid.
Call your doctor or midwife if you experience
- Strong regular contractions
- A brownish or pinkish blob removed from your cervix
- Breaking of water
This stage can last up to 2o minutes to 2 hours. In this stage, the cervix is fully dilated up to 10 cm and the baby’s head moves outside through the opening into the birth canal. Doctor or midwife can instruct the mother on how to push the baby during contractions.
The baby slowly comes out and the upper uterus actively contracts to push the baby downward while the lower region of the uterus relaxes to make way for the baby.
When the baby head is visible through the opening, a doctor may make a small cut to the vaginal wall to enlarge the opening so baby can move out easily.
This stage starts after the exit of the baby from the womb. This stage lasts up to 5 – 30 minutes and the mother can feel mild contractions to push the placenta out of the uterus.
What to do when labor begins
- Immediately call your doctor or midwife
- Walk or move if you can
- Take fluid especially energy drinks to sustain your energy level
- Practice breathing exercises as the contractions become stronger
- Ask your partner to rub your back to relieve back pain
What not to do during labor pain
- Do not get excited with the first contraction as labor can take several minutes to many hours. Walking and changing position can help in relaxing.
- Do not hold your breath or hyperventilate
- Don’t be impatient as normal childbirth can take a long time
- Don’t stress your body and mind