Whenever you have the signs of labour, you should go to the maternity unit where you have planned to give birth. The signs of labour include: labour pain, show (release of the blood-stained mucus plug which seals the opening of the cervix), and leaking liquor (bursting of the water bag).
After you are admitted, our health care team will do the following for you:
1.cardiotocography (CTG); to monitor fetal heartbeat
2.enema; to clear your bowel
3.vaginal examination; to monitor dilation of your cervix
4.setup intravenous drip (IV drip); a plastic tube is inserted into your vein. This is for drug administration during emergency.
There are three stages of delivery process:
The cervix dilates slowly with each contraction until it is 10 cm which will allow the baby to pass through it. The contractions are initially weak and 10 minutes apart, and later they get stronger and more frequent. At the end of first stage, the contractions are two to three minutes apart and last for about 40 seconds. The first stage will take an average of eight hours.
This stage starts when the cervix is fully dilated and ends when the baby is delivered. With a fully dilated cervix, the baby moved down the birth canal until the head appears at the vaginal opening. After the head and shoulders are born, the rest of the baby will slide out easily. This stage takes about 30 minutes. Normally episiotomy (a cut on the lower half of vagina) is done to prevent perineal tear.
After the baby is born, the uterus resumes contractions and the placenta is expelled. This stage will last for 20 minutes.
There are five types of delivery. The option will depend on the maternal and fetal conditions.
- the baby is delivered through the vagina. The baby is delivered 'head first' and the obstetrician guide the rest of the baby through lower half of the vagina.
- baby is delivered buttock first.
- this is done when the baby is in distress or mother has poor effort. The forceps is applied to the fetal head and traction applied to hasten the delivery.
- this is done when the baby is in distress or mother has poor effort. A vacuum cup is applied to the fetal head and traction applied to hasten the delivery.
- this is done when the baby is in distress or mother has poor effort, placenta praevia, cephalopelvic disproportion (baby is too big to fit through mother's pelvis), abnormal fetal position such as breech presentation (bottom first) and transverse presentation (sideway).