Labor And Delivery

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Labor And Delivery
Labor And Delivery
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Labor & delivery

Contractions of the uterine muscles are rhythmic contractions. They are the driving force behind the birth of a child and ensure that the cervix opens and the child is pushed through the birth canal. However, there are different forms of labor, some of which occur during pregnancy.

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How are pregnancy pains noticeable?

Contractions of pregnancy occur around the 20th week of pregnancy and are also known as practice contractions. They are typically noticeable as the abdomen becoming hard, but are usually not painful. The muscles of the uterus contract to slowly prepare for childbirth and position the child in the right position for delivery.

In contrast to “real”, birth-effective contractions, pregnancy contractions occur individually or at irregular intervals. They usually stop as soon as the pregnant woman takes a warm bath; this can serve as an aid to differentiation.

Towards the end of pregnancy (approx. 34th to 36th week of pregnancy) the practice contractions turn into so-called pre-contractions.

How are pre-pains noticeable?

Contractions occur in the last few weeks before giving birth. They allow the cervix to mature, soften it and put the baby in the starting position for birth. Pre-contractions are important preparatory work for the birth. They are hardly perceived by women or as unpleasant cramps and can radiate into the groin region. It can be a little more painful if the child's head slips deeper into the mother's pelvis, which is called senkwbacco. This is also noticed by many pregnant women by stepping down their stomach. Labor labor is often a sign that the birth is not long in coming.

More on the topic: The birth is announced.

Just like the practice contractions, pre- or submerged labor pains occur individually or at irregular intervals and subside again after a while.

How are labor pains noticeable?

Labor labor or labor-effective labor occurs at regularly recurring intervals. They are perceived as painful and increase in intensity, duration and frequency over time. The pain typically also radiates to the lower back and pubic bone area.

Labor pains perform different tasks depending on the phase of labor. The contractions in the opening phase (opening contractions) serve to fully open the cervix. They last about 30 to 60 seconds each and occur every five to ten minutes. In the subsequent expulsion phase of childbirth, the child is slowly pushed through the birth canal. These so-called expulsion pains occur about every four to six minutes.

As soon as the child's head reaches the pelvic floor, the urge to press is triggered in the woman. These last contractions are called press contractions and occur every two to three minutes. With their help, the child is eventually born.

Medicinal pain relief

There are various options available for pain relief during childbirth. So-called epidural anesthesia (PDA) is often used: At the beginning of the birth, a catheter is inserted into the connective tissue space of the spinal canal. This can be used to repeatedly administer pain reliever medication as needed during the course of the birth. The effect sets in within a few minutes. The medication is normally dosed in such a way that the contractions are not painful, but are still felt. This enables the woman to actively participate in the expulsion phase.

The attending physician or midwife provides information about the advantages and disadvantages of the PDA in advance of the birth, so that the woman can consciously decide for it or against it. There are also pain reliever drugs that can be administered intravenously and that do not have any harmful effects on the unborn child.

How do afterbirth pains and after-labor manifest themselves?

After the child is born, afterbirth pains ensure that the greatly stretched uterus contracts again. This causes the placenta to detach itself from the wall of the uterus. Postpartum labor is significantly less painful than labor, it occurs irregularly and is less intense.

After-birth pains can occur in the first few days after the birth and help the uterus to contract further and return to its original size. They also help to increasingly stop the bleeding. After pains are perceived differently by women, they are barely noticeable to slightly painful. They occur to a greater extent during breastfeeding due to the release of the hormone oxytocin. After-pains can be felt for up to a week, but continue to have an effect for four to six weeks.

How do contractions arise?

Labor labor is caused by a complex interplay of different hormones at the end of pregnancy. The changed hormone levels of estrogen, progesterone, cortisol and oxytocin have a major influence.

The hormones progesterone and estrogen are responsible for the menstrual cycle. If pregnancy occurs, the placenta takes over the production of progesterone. The progesterone formed by the placenta ensures that the uterine muscle relaxes and that contractions do not occur during pregnancy.

Towards the end of pregnancy, the progesterone effect is reduced and the maternal organism releases more estrogens. The hormone oxytocin is produced by the increased estrogen level. Oxytocin is the actual labor-promoting hormone that is increasingly formed and released towards the end of pregnancy. This causes the uterus to contract repeatedly and the strength of the contractions to increase. The hormone estrogen also activates the production of prostaglandins. These messenger substances cause the cervix to become softer and open a little wider with each contraction.

The stretching of the uterus and the maturity of the child also help get the birth going.

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