The Second and Third Stage of Labour

1 min

The second stage is often referred to as the pushing stage. This is from when the cervix is fully opened until the birth of the baby. You try an activity assist the baby through the birth canal. 

This can take around 2 hours as the baby descends lower it presses on maternal nerves and muscles creating a reflex that aids the downward progression. This may feel like pressure on your bowels. It’s a completely normal sensation and is a sign that labor is progressing. It is helpful during this stage to be guided by your body. 

Your Midwife will support, encourage and make sure you through this final phase to birth and meeting your baby. Once the baby is born you can enjoy skin-to-skin contact. The third stage of labor is when the placenta is expelled there are two ways to facilitate this.

The physiological third stage is when the placenta comes away naturally. Your own hormones create a contraction with a little more pushing and the use of gravity the placenta can be expelled. This can take up to an hour. 

During this time we’d encourage you to rest, feed your baby to stimulate the natural hormones that will help your uterus contract making sure your bladder is empty and changing position can also help at this point. 

If a physiological third stage is not appropriate or you choose to have an active third stage, the baby’s cord will be left to pulsate for between one and five minutes. 

The cord will be clamped and a drug will be administered by injection to enable your uterus to contract. The cord is then cut and the Midwife will guide your placenta out with gentle traction. The cord may be cut by you, your birth partner or the Midwife. The Midwife will inspect the placenta called a membranes to ensure they are complete from healthy.

Your perineum will be checked to establish whether any featuring stitching is required.If so this will be done as soon as possible then you can sample the infamous Tian toast and celebrate your amazing achievement whilst you enjoy some peaceful time with your partner getting to know your baby.

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