Umbilical Cord Fell Off Gooey Underneath
Your labor has been going on for hours now, but you’re starting to get bored of watching your water break all over again. You’ve had enough contractions to know they mean business this time around, and you’re ready to see some action.
But first, let’s talk about what’s happening in your body right now.
As you wait for that long overdue delivery, your cervix is contracting down toward its narrowest point ever — as low as 1 centimeter (0.4 inches) wide at times. The muscle surrounding your vagina is tightening up like crazy, which means the muscles inside are getting stronger with every contraction. And while you may be feeling pressure from the baby pressing against your bladder and rectum, there isn’t much activity happening yet because the baby’s head hasn’t descended far enough into your pelvis.
All those things happen because your uterus contracts down into a small space, and then relaxes back up just before each contraction.
What does all this mean? Well, if you were hoping for a speedy birth, you’ll have to keep waiting a little longer. But rest assured, everything is well-timed so your little one can make his or her entrance into the world when he or she is ready.
The good news is that, once the baby makes it through your pelvic canal, the rest should go quickly. Your cervix will dilate to 10 centimeters (3.9 inches), and the baby’s head will push its way out. He or she will likely come out feet first, but it could also be butt first. Some babies even use their heads as leverage to help move themselves out.
Once the baby pops free, congratulations! You’ll be able to meet him or her face-to-face, and you’ll probably hold onto them immediately. After that, you’ll need to deliver any other parts of the placenta. Then, you’ll take care of yourself.
That said, there’s one big thing you should do right away. If possible, contact your health provider to find out how soon you should start looking after the new arrival.
If you’re having a vaginal birth, it’s pretty clear that you won’t need stitches. If you’re opting for an epidural, however, you should speak to your doctor about whether you want to receive pain medication during childbirth. There are risks associated with both options.
Epidurals aren’t risk-free though. They cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting, constipation, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, numbness, hot flashes, blurred vision, dry mouth, urinary incontinence, difficulty urinating, confusion, trouble breathing, and irregular heartbeat. Epidural anesthesia doesn’t work for everyone, either. Women who don’t respond to it can still feel pain, but instead of relieving it, the pain becomes more intense.
Women who opt for natural births are often told by medical professionals that they shouldn’t experience complications because they’re healthy. That’s true in many cases, but being healthy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re immune to pregnancy-related illnesses. Complications can occur in otherwise healthy women, too. In fact, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, between 20 and 25 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage.
For example, preeclampsia occurs when high blood pressure affects pregnant women after week 20. Signs include high blood pressure, swelling in hands and legs, red spots appearing on skin, heavy bleeding, rapid weight gain, fatigue, headaches, tender breasts, darkening of urine, and changes in bowel movements. Preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia, a serious complication involving seizures. Severe forms of preeclampsia can result in death of mother and child, or preterm birth.
Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) refers to high blood pressure symptoms experienced by mothers before, during, and/or after giving birth. These include headache, blurred vision, abdominal bloating, chest pain, stomach cramping, and leg pain. PIH is typically caused by dehydration, stress, lack of sleep, and obesity.
While most complications related to pregnancy only last a few days, others linger for weeks or months. Fortunately, most of these conditions are treatable, especially if caught early. For instance, gestational diabetes develops when hormone levels change during pregnancy causing sugar to build up in the bloodstream. Symptoms include increased thirst, hunger, frequent urination, excessive weight gain, and blurry vision. Gestational diabetes usually lasts less than two weeks postpartum.
Placental abruption is defined as premature separation of the fetus from the uterine wall. Abruptio placentae can also refer to a tear in the placenta leading to hemorrhage. Both events can affect the development of the baby. Placental abruption is relatively rare, occurring in fewer than five per thousand deliveries. However, placental abruption accounts for 15 percent of maternal deaths.
Itchiness is a common complaint among pregnant women, affecting anywhere from 70 percent to 90 percent of moms-to-be. Itchy rashes are usually harmless, but severe itchiness can indicate a number of conditions including eczema, psoriasis, scabies, ringworm, herpes, HIV, syphilis, and lupus. Other causes of itchiness include hives, rosacea, chicken pox, shingles, poison ivy, and insect bites.
So, no matter how the labor goes, always consult your healthcare provider regarding any concerns you have.
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