Baby Delivery, Pregnancy Delivery, Normal delivery of a baby, cost of baby Delivery and labour

As you push, the baby's head will progressively move down through the pelvis. In between contractions the head will slip back a little. This helps allow the tissues of the vagina time to stretch to accommodate the baby's head. When the top of the baby's head no longer slips back into the vagina between contractions, this is called crowning and indicates that delivery is imminent. If you put your hand down you will be able to feel the top of your baby's head. Some women take a small mirror with them in labour so that they can see the baby's head at this point. This will show you just how close delivery is. Your midwife or Doctor will control the delivery of the head with gentle pressure to avoid or minimise damage to the tissues at the entrance to the vagina (the perineum). Once the head crowns, you usually need to stop pushing and pant to allow a slow, controlled delivery of the fetal head. This allows a little time for the tissues at the vaginal entrance to stretch. This can avoid a tear. If the midwife or Doctor thinks that you will tear then an episiotomy can be performed. Once the head is delivered, the midwife or Doctor will check if the baby's cord is round the neck. If it is it will be released often by simply slipping the cord over the baby's head. Any mucus around the baby's mouth nose and eyes will be wiped away. The rest of the baby's body usually follows easily. The baby can be delivered on to your abdomen allowing you to touch and hold your new baby immediately.

Baby Delivery: The second stage of labour

The second stage of labour lasts from full dilatation of your cervix until delivery of the baby. It is divided into two phases, a passive phase, during which the baby's head descends deep into the pelvis and an active phase when you will feel an intense urge to push the baby out. The passive phase is really an extension of the first stage of labour and is sometimes called 'transition'. Some women feel sick or vomit at this point.

The passive phase may be very short or may last for 1 or 2 hours. This transitional phase often lasts longer if you have an epidural, as you will not feel the urge to push while the epidural is fully effective. The duration of the second stage will depend on many factors including the strength of your contractions, the position of the baby's head and the size and shape of your pelvis. However, most women, especially those who have had a baby before, will deliver within one hour of starting to push.

When to push for the baby in normal delivery in pregnancy

You may get a strong and irresistible urge to push. However, sometimes you will feel this sensation slightly before full dilatation, so your Doctor or midwife will usually check that you are fully dilated by examining you before you start to push. If you are not fully dilated you should not try to push the baby out. This can make the cervix swell up and delay the delivery. Taking short shallow breaths when your contraction comes helps you to avoid pushing, as good pushing requires a deep breath in. If you have an epidural you may not be aware of the 'urge to push' sensation, so your midwife or Doctor will examine you and can tell you when to push.

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