My Body – Pregnancy Week 40Brought to you by
How are you feeling? It's almost time to meet your little one. Your bags are probably packed and are ready to go, the nursery is all set, you have the car seat installed, and your baby's first outfit is selected. You've been patient for nine whole months, and the time is almost here!
When you finally do go into labor, it's important to stay calm. Usually, there is no need to rush to the hospital. For most women, labor typically lasts around 13 hours. So take some extra time to make sure you have everything you need, and drive safely. You may even prefer to stay in your own home while your contractions are still far apart. When you first contact your healthcare provider, he or she should be able to tell you when it's the appropriate time for you to head to the hospital.
Labor – Labor is typically broken down into three stages, and begins when you start to have regular contractions, and ends when you pass the placenta.
First Stage – When the contractions start to pick up you are in the active phase of the first stage labor. Between this active phase and the next phase, known as Transition, you will want to get to the hospital, or place where you plan to give birth. During the transition phase, your contractions will start occurring closer together.
Second Stage – This is the stage where you give birth to your baby. Your contractions will occur more closely together and will feel stronger. You will either feel the need to push, or if you have received medication for pain, you may not, and will be directed on what to do. You will reach the end of the second stage when you have delivered your baby.
Third Stage – Anywhere up to an hour after giving birth, you will be told to give another push in order to get the placenta out. However, you will probably be preoccupied by the new baby in your arms.