Expectant mothers begin to listen with excitement to themselves many days before the baby decides to be born. The fact that childbirth really began, can only be said when a woman has regular contractions. Other options: occasional nagging pains in the pubic or sacral region, “postrelivaniya” in the lower back – these are only the harbingers of future events.
But when painful sensations occur with a certain periodicity, they do not subside, but intensify and become more and more frequent, the long-awaited birth of a baby is not far off. It is here that a number of rules and restrictions come into force that the future mother should remember.
It is possible and necessary to detect the frequency of contractions. How often they occur – this is the first question that you will hear in this situation from any doctor. At the very beginning of labor, the interval between contractions reaches 30–60 minutes, and this means that you can stay at home and quietly go about your business for at least an hour or two.
If the interval is about 7-10 minutes – it’s time to get ready for the hospital, but without too much fuss. Hurry up is worth it when the contractions occur every 5-7 minutes and each next lasts longer and stronger than the previous one.
If contractions occur every 2–3 minutes, immediately call the obstetric ambulance team and go to the maternity hospital, accompanied by doctors.
You can not hesitate a minute to leave in the maternity hospital, if you began to pour amniotic fluid. Their appearance is not confused with anything: unlike urination, water cannot be stopped by muscular effort.
Remember the time when they poured out, their color, smell and approximate amount. Better yet, with their appearance, immediately place a cloth diaper under the perineum and take it with you to the hospital to show the obstetrician.
The color of the water indicates whether the child is experiencing a lack of oxygen; and the tactics of childbirth will depend on it.
While you are at home, you can make final preparations for leaving the maternity hospital. Check the documents: the most important thing is the passport, insurance policy and exchange card, but sometimes you also need a copy of the sick-list for pregnancy and a birth certificate. Check to see if there are any things that you will need during childbirth (everything else you can pass on after the baby is born).
There are not so many of them: these are washable slippers, a bottle of water without gas (0.5–1 l), a mobile phone with a charger (and, if necessary, headphones). Women with varicose veins or those who are sent to a planned cesarean section need to take compression stockings.
You can take with you a small bar of chocolate or a few pieces of sugar – this will support your strength if the birth is delayed and you get hungry (but be prepared for the fact that not all maternity hospitals allow it).
If you are going to the maternity hospital, you can put yourself in order: take a shower, shave your hair in the intimate area, and it is better to remove the varnish from the nails and shortly cut it. Under long painted nails, impurities, fungal lesions and discoloration are imperceptible (if the nails turn blue, this indicates an acute lack of oxygen). As for shaving, although it is no longer required in all maternity hospitals, in most institutions it is still considered necessary.
If a woman needs a perineal incision or emergency cesarean section during labor, the intervention area will still have to be shaved to prevent infection from the hairs in the wound. The expectant mother can have this procedure already in the hospital; for this case, it is better to have a disposable razor or a new replaceable blade with you if you prefer a reusable one.
With rare bouts you can have a little snack, if you feel hungry: drink half a cup of kefir or yogurt, eat a couple of spoons of low-fat cottage cheese or a piece of chocolate. Allowed a small amount of food that is easily digested.
It is important that the eaten had time to digest and leave the stomach before the birth will be in full swing. First, when a woman is opening her cervix, she may have nausea and vomiting.
Secondly, if an emergency caesarean section is needed (and not a single birth is insured against it) and general anesthesia, there is a risk of throwing gastric contents into the lungs, which will lead to serious complications. That is why it is absolutely impossible to eat when contractions are already actively developing.
But during all births, you can drink – little by little, in sips.
Up to the beginning of the attempt, one can occupy a position in which the expectant mother is more comfortable: walk, lie down, sit reclining. But a woman shouldn’t sit up straight in order not to disturb the baby’s blood flow, and it will be unpleasant for her because of the pressure on the perineum.
You can not take a bath: it is unlikely that you will be able to make its surface sterile, and water contaminated with germs can get into the birth canal. If the fetal bladder is torn (and this is determined only by the doctor), an infection can penetrate to the child.
It is impossible to do an enema on your own, even if you are familiar with this procedure – it can speed up the process of childbirth; or, conversely, to avoid it, take a laxative.
Arriving at childbirth, the woman is available to doctors and midwives; what can and cannot be done, they will now prompt her. Each hospital has its own rules, but several things remain universal.
It is possible and necessary to tell the doctor about what preceded the arrival at the maternity hospital: when the contractions began, what feelings you experienced while experiencing excretions, and so on. Do not hide anything and do not hesitate to voice even intimate information – for example, if you had sex shortly before the onset of labor.
What appears to be irrelevant to a woman may be crucial for the doctor.
You can be interested in what is happening, ask the doctors questions, find out the names of the drugs that you are given. You have every right to know what is happening to you and what the doctors are doing.
While there is a period of labor, with the permission of the doctors, you can move, walk along the corridor, take any comfortable position. If you want, you can dance, massage your lower back, do breathing exercises. A woman intuitively feels that her body needs it, so you cannot harm yourself.
If you feel sleepy, you can sleep or take a nap.
You can not push (even if you want) until the doctor has allowed it. It is important that the attempts occur after the cervix has fully opened, otherwise it can damage both the birth canal of the woman and the baby.
You can not scream and moan: in addition to the fact that it interferes with doctors and other mothers, the cry worsens the flow of oxygen to the baby. Instead, try to breathe deeply or even sing: in a low voice, chanting vowels, you relax and nourish your lungs with oxygen.
You can not clamp: for example, clench your fists or strain the muscles of the face. Because of muscular tension, pain is felt more acutely, so try, for example, to at least relax your hands – this is one of the relaxation techniques.