For first-time expectant parents, prenatal classes are invaluable. Labour and birth is often faced with anxiety, even fear, by first-time expectant mothers. Prenatal classes help pregnant women feel empowered, that they know what to expect. This takes away the mystery and makes a positive birth experience more likely. Women...
Have a partner at your side
Historically, physical and emotional support was provided by other women as a woman gave birth at home.
When childbirth moved from the home to the hospital setting, the role of the traditional helper began to disappear, and support during labour was given mainly by labour...
You and your partner or birth companion can be involved in making decisions about your obstetrical care.
Some of the procedures described in this article were once carried out routinely. We now know, however, that certain procedures may be beneficial in certain circumstances, and other interventions should be abandoned...
Monitoring the baby's health during labour may include the following procedures:
Medical staff can listen to the baby's heartbeat with ultrasound.
Continuous Electronic Fetal Monitoring
Sometimes continuous electronic fetal monitoring is required, particularly if the mother's labour is being induced with Pitocin, or if there are concerns about the mother...
Intervention With Medications: When a little extra help is needed
Labour is hard work; nutrients and fluids are needed throughout labour for mother and the baby. As labour progresses, many women do not wish to eat or drink, and may become nauseated and vomit. Ice chips and sips of...
Getting in shape for your baby's birth
Research shows that healthy pregnant mothers can participate in some forms of exercise throughout their entire pregnancy, although many find they need to slow down at the beginning and again at the end.
The best time to begin an exercise program is during the...
Exercises to Help Ease Discomforts:
Try to maintain proper posture at all times. Proper posture decreases back strain and improves breathing.
Consists of muscles that support the uterus, bladder, and bowel. These muscles also surround the external openings of these pelvic organs. They hold a lot of weight during...
For women who have previously given birth by caesarean, the option of attempting a vaginal birth for future pregnancies is becoming more commonly used. This is called vaginal birth after caesarean, or VBAC.
What Do The Experts Say About VBAC?
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) recommends that...
Ways To Keep As Comfortable As Possible
Breathing and relaxation techniques are an essential part of preparing for labour. It's important to be familiar with the techniques - even if you are sure that you want to use additional methods of pain relief (analgesia).
Breathing & Relaxation Techniques:
Active labour follows the first stage. It involves the continued dilation (opening) of the cervix.
Active Labour - 3 to 5 hours
During active labour, the cervix dilates to four to seven centimetres.
Wake up in active labour if you slept through the early, first stage.