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Giving Birth to a Baby Soon?

What to Expect in Childbirth


Once your cervix has dilated to four or five centimeters, you'll be giving birth to a baby soon. This stage in childbirth is called active labor and at this point, your contractions are coming with more frequency.

Pain Relief While Giving Birth to a Baby

Different women have different pain levels when giving birth to a baby. Some are able to use relaxation techniques, such as breathing and massage.

If the pain of giving birth to a baby is getting unbearable or your labor has been long, you may want to use other forms of pain relief. These can include pain relievers or an epidural. An epidural can give you total pain relief, which will be appreciated if you've been in labor a long time.

The Transition Period of Childbirth 

As the first stage of labor ends, labor becomes even harder as the cervix opens to 10 centimeters. Some women feel cold, shaky, sick, or even like labor will never end. This is the sign that the end is in sight.

Your body is working hard to get the cervix open the rest of the way. You might feel like you need to push, but your healthcare provider needs to make sure that your cervix is open all the way. If your healthcare provider tells you not to push, this can make transition even more difficult.

Every woman has different support needs when they're giving birth to a baby. You may want your partner to rub your back or your feet and your hands, or you may not want anyone to touch you. No matter what you need, make sure to let your partner know. He or she can't properly support you if they don't know what you want. You may want to:

  • Breathe in deeply at the beginning of each contraction and then out throughout the contraction.
  • Change positions frequently if you're uncomfortable.
  • Stand with your birth partner with your arms around his or her shoulders. This support in the upright position can help you focus on breathing and relaxing.
  • Shout, grunt or make noise if it helps you.
  • Ask for a back, foot or leg massage.
  • Drop your shoulders to relax them in between contractions.

How Will You Be Monitored When You're Giving Birth to a Baby?

You may have continuous electronic fetal monitoring throughout the childbirth process, particularly if there are concerns about the baby.

Many women will also have an electronic monitor placed on their belly. These monitors have straps that wrap around the belly and they monitor your baby's heart rate and your contractions. It can be hard to move around during childbirth if you're being monitored like this. If you don't have this continuous monitoring, your healthcare provider will check your baby's heart rate at regular intervals.

If monitoring indicated that the baby is in distress, your healthcare provider might want to take a small sample of blood from the baby's scalp. If this blood sample indicates that the baby needs to be born, you will likely have an emergency C-section.

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