5 Things No One Told You About Labor and Delivery

5 Things No One Told You About Labor and Delivery

The labor and delivery process is something you don’t quite fully understand until you’ve been through it yourself. If this is your first pregnancy, it’s completely normal and even encouraged to ask as many questions as possible as you prepare to go through childbirth. 

Still, even with answers to every question you’ve pondered, there will most likely be things throughout the process you didn’t anticipate. 

Our experienced OB/GYNs and midwives at The Association for Women’s Health Care in Chicago and Northbrook, Illinois, work closely with you through all of your prenatal visits so you’re as prepared as possible when it comes time to give birth. 

They use ultrasound imaging to track your baby’s development and identify possible issues with the birthing process. 

If you’re getting ready for childbirth and are curious about the aspects that no one has told you about, read on to learn five things you might not expect.

You might not be able to stick to your birth plan

Believe us, we get it: Your birth plan is extremely important. Odds are, you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how you want your delivery to play out. 

Even though many women go through childbirth seamlessly and can stick to their original plan, many others cannot due to the unpredictable nature of the birthing process. 

For this reason, it may be better to go in with a go-with-the-flow mindset. This way, you won’t be disappointed if something comes up that stops you from using a particular service or strategy that you’d hoped would be available. 

Contractions cause the cervix to stretch out

Your cervix is a structure with an opening between your uterus and vagina. In order for a baby to safely exit, the cervix must open significantly. While the contractions you experience come from the uterus as its muscles flex and tighten, their purpose is to widen the cervical opening. 

As the uterus contracts, your cervix becomes thinner and wider. This provides a gateway through which your baby can safely come out. 

Laughing gas is an option

When you think of laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, you probably think about the dentist. During dental visits, you can inhale the chemical to help you relax and ease your worries. 

But you might not realize that laughing gas is also an option to help with labor and delivery. It relieves your anxiety without putting you to sleep. Instead, you just feel relaxed and content. 

You breathe in the nitrous oxide through a facemask. You can hold the mask over your mouth and nose as you go through each contraction. 

Your baby’s head might come out long, but don’t be alarmed

Did you know that vaginal birth often causes the baby’s head to elongate as it passes through the birth canal? Your first exposure to this shocking revelation may be the moment you see your baby. 

There’s no need to worry, because this is a normal part of the process and the baby’s head rounds out within around 24 hours.

This is also the reason why we give babies hats when they’re born. That way, when you take photos of your newborn, you don’t notice the unusual head shape. 

Increased urination is often an early sign of labor

You might not think much of your increased trips to the restroom. In fact, you might attribute them to your pregnancy in general. 

But increased urination is the result of a process called lightening. This is when your baby settles lower in your pelvis as they get ready to come out. Your uterus places more pressure on your bladder, which increases urinary urge. 

For more details about your upcoming labor and delivery, schedule an appointment over the phone or online at The Association for Women’s Health Care today.

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