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PREPARATION TIPS FOR LABOUR

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A picture of a pregnant wiman

Labour also called CHILDBIRTH is the process of your baby leaving your womb as at when due. And it should be expected at 36-42weeks.

The basic LAWS of the Labour room are:

NO PANT
NO BRA
TIE ONLY CLOTH OR WRAPPER!
OBEY YOUR MIDWIFE/DOCTOR!!

WHEN YOU ARE CLOSE TO LABOUR,

Your baby drops into your pelvis, ready to come out… This is that point when you feel a little relief from all the baby’s weight and even shortness of breath.

We call this LIGHTENING.!

It can happen a few weeks or even just a few hours before your labour begins.

Also your baby will be moving less than usual.

YOU’LL KNOW YOU’RE TRULY IN LABOR WHEN:::———

  1. Uterine Contractions
    You have contractions which is when the muscles of your womb tighten up and then relax…

You will feel your abdomen get hard… and then…get soft when the pain stops.

These contractions may feel like EXTREME PERIOD CRAMPS…

Your contractions are there to push out your baby.

The time between your contractions will keep reducing until they get so STRONG and REGULAR that you can’t walk or talk during them.

Not all contractions mean you’re in labor oooo.

You may experience what we call FALSE LABOUR or BRAXTON-HICKS CONTRACTIONS…

It happens sometimes when you feel the sharp pain come… and then go…

It can however be hard to tell the difference between true labour and false labour.

But note that in FALSE LABOR, the pains are irregular, and doesn’t increase in consistentcy.
And most importantly… There’s no Dilatation of the CERVIX…..

PAIN… PAIN…PAIN!!
Of course, you will feel pain in your belly and lower back that doesn’t go away even when you move or change positions.

“SHOW”…. MUCUS PLUG.

You will have a kind of bloody or brownish mucus discharge coming out of your vagina…

Jelly like…sticky… Azin it feels like Okro soup ….this is called SHOW

SHOW is a sign that your cervix is about to start opening for your baby to pass through…

SHOW is blood + mucus that seals your cervix during pregnancy to prevent infections from reaching your baby while still in the womb.

This mucus dislodges when labour is about to start and mix with blood to form the “Okro soup” you feel in between your legs

If you’re losing more blood, it may be a sign that something is wrong, so rush to the hospital

RUPTURE OF MEMBRANE
The water💧 that protects your baby in your womb BREAKS!.

You may feel a big rush of water run down your legs OR you may feel just a trickle…

Once you arrive at the hospital, you will hear your midwife will ask you “Has your water broke”?

When it breaks at home, PLEASE use a sanitary pad but never a Tampon or Menstrual cup.

Sometimes, this water may not break at home, we might even break it for you at the hospital to speed up labour… Because once water pours out, you are closer to seeing your baby.

If your baby does not arrive within 24 hours after your water breaks, you’ll be needing an INDUCTION OF LABOUR because, the water that protects your baby is out and so the baby now have an increased risk of infection.

CERVICAL DILATATION
Your cervix opens slowly starting from 2cm till its fully dilated which is 10cm.

URGE TO BEAR DOWN
As Labor progresses, you will also feel this urge to go to the toilet…

We midwives keep hearing “NURSE AH WANT TO POO” …this is caused by your baby’s head pressing on your retum.

We won’t allow you visit the toilet oo. poo while pushing u hear? don’t worry your Midwives also have a degree in packing shit

Labor is divided into 4 stages:

  1. EARLY OR LATENT PHASE OF LABOUR…

Your midwife/doctor will tell you after putting her hand into your vagina, “Madam You are 1cm OR 2cm OR 3cm OR 4cm Dilated”

This is that stage when you will see a woman in labour taking a walk… From one end of the hospital to the other….resting and continuing….and you think she is doing drama baa

She has been asked to exercise small for labour to progress a bit faster.

  1. ACTIVE PHASE OF LABOUR

This is the main business of the day

Your cervix dilates from 4cm – 10cm and your baby pops out!

There is something called CROWNING during this phase.

This is when your baby’s head is visible at the vulva…..in an attempt to deliver the Head

This moment is EXTREMELY PAINFUL… like a burning sensation and we refer to it as RING OF FIRE

We also guide your Perineum so you’ll gently deliver the Head and the remaining part of your baby to prevent your vaginal skin from tearing on it’s own due to overstretching…

OR

You receiving a cut from the midwife’s scissors called EPISIOTOMY

At this stage of Labor, you’ll hear EVERY Midwife and Doctor screaming PUSH!!!

Wondering why?

THIS IS THE MAJOR MOMENT OF LIFE AND DEATH!

Your job however is to relax and OBEY your midwife!

PUSH WHEN YOU ARE ASKED TO…

When pushing, don’t just scream Ma

Use this EXPO

Hold your two ankles…
Look at your navel and….
Try pushing out the midwife’s finger in your vagina, your baby will follow!

  1. DELIVERY OF THE PLACENTA

If any problem occurs at this stage, there’s problem!

We give birth to a baby, we don’t give birth to Placenta.

While cleaning, resuscitating(if need be) and dressing up your baby, we wait for the placenta to separate before delivering it…

You will feel another round of slight contractions at this point BUT you don’t need to push.

  1. RECOVERY

You and your tiny bundle of joy are monitored in case you bleed.

You will be required to start breastfeeding immediately too

Once you are stable, you are good to go over to Postnatal ward for further monitoring.

REMEMBER!!!!!……
Its OK to have a different Labour experience from what your friend or neighbor felt during her own childbirth.

To every expectant Father seeing this, have a tangible gift ready for you wife once your baby arrives…. Childbirth Is Not A Child’s Play!

And to every Mom-in-a-bit, YOU’VE GOT THIS MAMA

Paulina Atenei Anaba is a Ghanaian freelance journalist and blogger, an entrepreneur, and a french tutor at Gbewaa College of Education. She is currently writing for Ghana's vibrant entertainment blog, Zackgh.com and her personal blog, paulinaanaba.com. She holds a degree in English and French from U.C.C. A Masters degree in French (Linguistics) from the University of Ouagadougou. she is a team player and can work under any circumstance.Contact her on 0549614358 @zackgh.com and Paulinaanaba.com to publish articles in your community and also to help promote and upload songs as well on our page. For your translations from French to English and vice versa, contact her.

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