The first stage of labour is defined as the period of time from established labour to transition. Lasting anywhere from a few to many hours, during the first stage of labour your cervix will progressively dilate in preparation for your baby to pass through into the birth canal during the second stage of labour. Are you wondering how you will know you are in labour? Perhaps you are overdue and attempting to bring on labour by sheer force of will! Do you wonder what preterm labour is and what will happen if your baby decides to arrive early? This section explores the first stage of labour in its many presentations.
Articles on Labour - First stage
Eating and Drinking in Labour
Current evidence suggests women should be supported in eating and drinking in labour if this is what they choose to do. Despite what the research says some hospitals and health care professionals enforce a policy that restricts women eating in labour. Conversely most hospital policies and health care professionals encourage women to drink during labour.
Can music decrease pain in labour?
The use of music is now routinely encouraged to promote relaxation and assist patients in managing stress during a broad range of medical procedures. But beyond promoting relaxation, music has been shown to reduce the pain of labour.
Stand and deliver! Everything you need to know about birth positions
When it comes to childbirth most midwives will tell you it’s not something you can do lying down, yet this is exactly how many women still give birth in Australia. Changing positions during labour and birth changes the shape and size of the pelvis, helping the baby to move through the birth canal.
Going overdue is never easy but going so overdue that you have to be induced can be traumatic for women. There is no doubt that nature is the best midwife when it comes to labour, and induction comes with its own risks.
Preterm birth is defined as birth occurring before 37 weeks of pregnancy or more than three weeks early. It is divided up into mildly preterm (32-37 weeks), moderately preterm (28-31 weeks) and extremely preterm (before 28 weeks).
Oxytocin: The hormone of love and birth
Of all the hormones in the body, oxytocin probably gives us the greatest happiness in life. The prototype for the effect of this "hormone of love" has to be the amazing love a mother has for her baby. Oxytocin may in fact be an important influence on who we become later in life.
Eating and Drinking During Labour: Let Women Decide
Women should be allowed to eat and drink what they want during labour, say Cochrane Researchers. The researchers carried out a systematic review of studies examining the traditional practice of restricting food and fluid intake during labour and found no evidence for any risk or benefit for women at low risk of complications
Informing yourself of your many options is really helpful. You can do this by reading, attending prenatal classes or speaking to others. One of the main things that research has found helpful is the presence of continuous support person