Tag: Labor and Birth Guide

Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 8

Placenta Birth

  • Placenta separates from uterine wall
  • This could take 5 – 90 minutes
  • May experience painful contractions or none at all

Possible Emotional Responses to Placenta Birth

  • Surprise that you still aren’t done
  • Anger at contractions
  • Engrossment for your baby

What You Can Do During the Birth of the Placenta

  • Use your breathing during contractions
  • Keep baby at breast to stimulate the release of the placenta
  • Keep baby skin-to-skin
  • Enjoy your new baby
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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 7

Crowning and Birth

  • Baby’s head no longer retreats between contractions
  • Head is visible
  • May feel burning and stretching – this is ok – it’s your tissues dilating and stretching so they don’t tear

Possible Emotional Responses During Crowning and Birth

  • Confusion about the burning pain
  • Fear of tearing
  • Fear of the birth of the body
  • Panic
  • Trying to escape the pain
  • Awe as the baby is born
  • Relief
  • Thankfulness
  • Gratitude
  • Exhaustion

What You Can Do During Crowning and Birth

  • Touch baby as she emerges or catch her yourself
  • View the birth in a mirror
  • Enjoy skin to skin contact
  • Celebrate a birth and labor day
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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 6


  • The urge to push is uncontrollable and involuntary
  • The same muscles you use to poop are the same muscles you use to push
  • You will know when you need to push

Possible Emotional Response to Pushing

  • Fear of tearing
  • Anxiety
  • Alarm at the sensations
  • Thankfulness to be “doing” something

What You Can Do During Pushing

  • Rest between contractions
  • Listen to your body
  • Voice any concerns or fears
  • Ask for help
  • Change positions
  • Keep mouth open to allow your bottom to open
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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 5

Rest and Be Thankful Phase

  • May be able to rest for 5-30 minutes with no contractions
  • Baby’s head has left the uterus, creating space inside the uterine cavity, leaving the uterus with more slack then ever before
  • No urge to push
  • Relief from pain

Possible Emotional Responses to the Rest and Be Thankful Phase

  • Renewed energy, hope and trust
  • More awareness of surroundings
  • Ready to get on with it!
  • Sense of humor may return temporarily

What You Can Do During the Rest and Be Thankful Phase

  • REST
  • Sleep – it’s money in the bank for when you start pushing
  • Close your eyes
  • Get in a comfortable position
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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 4


  • I’ve noticed that a lot of women really want to know when they are in transition. It’s important to keep in mind that you may not experience the outward signs of transition, so try to let your expectations go.
  • Very intense and long contractions.
  • Pain has usually peaked
  • Starting to feel pressure on the vagina and rectum – feels like you are going to poop
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Urge to push
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Cramping in legs
  • Hot
  • Cold
  • Tired
  • Anxiety
  • Flushed face
  • Hot flashes

Possible Emotional Responses to Transition

  • Feel like you can never go on
  • Loose control
  • Crying and begging
  • Can’t concentrate
  • Overwhelmed
  • Panicky
  • Angry and afraid

What You Can Do During Transition

  • Remind yourself how far you’ve come
  • Change positions
  • Employ comfort measures
  • Breath
  • Let go
  • Surrender to the flow
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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 3

Active Labor

  • Contractions continue progressing and become stronger and longer. You are now unable to be distracted during a contraction.
  • Contractions are now lasted 1 minute or longer and are coming every 4 or 5 minutes. This has been happening for over an hour.
  • Peak of pain intensity is usually reached by 7-9 cm. That means if you’ve made it this far, you can do the rest!
  • Water may release and you may see more bloody show

Possible Emotional Responses to Active Labor

  • Fear that you can’t go on
  • Serious and focused – no unnecessary conversation
  • No small talk
  • Letting go and giving in – this isn’t something you are in charge of

What You Can Do During Active Labor

  • If leaving your home for your birth, this is when you would do it.
  • Pee every hour
  • Sip liquids between every contraction
  • If you can, eat something light
  • Focus on each contraction
  • Relax your mouth and your bottom
  • Be present
  • Use comfort measures
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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 2

Early Active Labor

  • Contractions are becoming stronger, longer and more frequent
  • May continue to see bloody show (mucus)
  • Water may release

Possible Emotional Responses to Early Active Labor

  • Almost certain that you’re in labor, but still unsure, which causes confusion
  • Apprehensive or confident
  • May focus on contractions too much. Save that energy girl!

What You Can Do During Early Active Labor

  • REST
  • If unable to be distracted during a contraction, take a cleansing breath at the start of a contraction and breath through each surge, using vocalization, movement or whatever feels good.
  • Eat and drink
  • REST
  • Brush teeth (you probably won’t be doing that again for awhile)
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Labor & Birth Guide of What to Expect – Part 1

Early Labor

  • Early labor may last a short amount of time (usually just for moms who have already given birth) or several days.

Possible Signs of Early Labor

  • Diarrhea
  • Backache
  • Cramps – Menstrual like cramps
  • Nonprogressing contractions – meaning they don’t increase in frequency/duration and may go away
  • Mucus in your underware – this can be a small amount or a large amount and may or may not be tinged with blood
  • Water breaks – this is a rare and unusual way of beginning labor. It’s really more of a Hollywood thing.

Common Emotional Responses of Early Labor

  • Confusion about whether you are in labor or not
  • Mixed feelings
  • May overestimate labor progress

What You Can Do During Early Labor

  • Distract yourself from your contractions
  • Do not time or pay attention to your contraction pattern
  • Watch a funny or romantic movie
  • Call friends that are positive and happy
  • Invite a friend over to keep you company who will be a positive influence
  • REST
  • EAT
  • REST – you have a lot of work ahead of you
  • Bake or cook if you like doing this type of thing
  • Work on a project you pre-selected that you enjoy – knitting, scrapbooking, coloring

Continue reading »