First Stage of Labor and Delivery Video

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During labor forceful contractions move the fetus down the birth canal and expel it from the uterus. Signs and symptoms that labor is about to start can occur from hours to weeks before the actual onset of labor. Braxton Hicks contractions Irregular contractions that begin in the second trimester and intensify as full term approaches. Increased vaginal discharge Normally clear and nonirritating discharge caused by fetal pressure. Lightening Descent of the baby into the pelvis. May occur 2 to 3 weeks before the first stage of labor begins. Bloody show Thick mucus mixed with pink or dark-brown blood. Mucous plug is dislodged as cervix dilates and small capillaries are torn, producing the bloody show. Rupture of the membranes Occurs when the amniotic sac (bag of waters) ruptures. Energy spurt or nesting Occurs in many women shortly before the onset of labor. Weight loss Loss of 1 to 3 pounds can occur shortly before labor as hormone changes cause excretion of extra body water. Stages of Labor True labor: rhythmic contractions that develop a regular pattern and are more frequent, more intense, and last longer. Labor is divided into three stages First stage: Begins with onset of true labor and lasts until cervix is fully dilated to 10 cm. This is the stage of dilation. Second stage: Continues after cervix is dilated to 10 cm until delivery of the baby. This is the stage of expulsion. An episiotomy may be performed. Third stage: Delivery of the placenta. Takes from 5 to 30 minutes. Placenta Anchors the developing fetus to the uterus. Provides the means by which the fetus receives nourishment and oxygen. Functions as an excretory, respiratory, and endocrine organ, which produces hCG. Placenta Consists of two portions: Fetal portion is formed by a coming together of chorionic villi in which the umbilical vein and arteries intertwine to form the umbilical cord. Maternal portion develops from the decidual basalis of the uterus. Has a red, beefy-looking appearance. The mature placenta weighs approximately 1 pound. Placenta When expelled following parturition (the act of giving birth), it is known as the afterbirth. Expelled in one of two ways: Schultze mechanism, with the fetal surface presenting Duncan mechanism, with the maternal surface presenting. After placental expulsion, uterus must contract and remain contracted to control bleeding. Vernix caseosa: A protective cheesy substance that covers the fetus during intrauterine life. Lanugo: Fine downy hair that covers the baby's body, especially the shoulders, back, forehead, and temple. Apgar score: First assessment of the newborn. Taken at 1 and 5 minutes after birth. Appearance (color) Pulse (heartbeat) Grimace (reflex) Activity (muscle tone) Respiration (breathing)

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