During labour, the muscles of the uterus contract and shorten, thereby opening and pulling up your cervix into the lower part of the uterus. This action pushes the baby further down in to your pelvis. At the same time baby’s head is pushing on your cervix and together these complex actions work to facilitate dilatation (the widening of the cervix) and the birth of your baby.
There are Three Stages of Labour
The first stage is divided into three phases. The first phase is the early or latent phase of labour. It’s also commonly described as pre-labour. During this phase your cervix begins to soften, move forward and efface (thin out).
Next is the active phase – when your cervix is dilating. Your contractions become more intense, more frequent and last longer.
The final phase in the first stage of labour is transition. At this point your cervix dilates from 8-10 centimetres and your contractions are generally coming every 2-3 minutes and are lasting 60-90 seconds.
The second stage of labour is the pushing phase and birth of your baby. You are now dilated to 10 centimetres. This is the stage of labour where you push your baby down the birth canal and you meet at last! This phase is really hard work and can take up to several hours.
The third stage of labour is the birth of the placenta. This stage can take 5-15 minutes and occasionally longer.
Gestational diabetes mellitus – also known as GDM, is diabetes which can occur during pregnancy. Many women who’ve been diagnosed with GDM won’t have diabetes after their baby is born, though some continue to have high levels of blood glucose and need treatment. Most women who are diagnosed with GDM have a normal pregnancy, labour and baby. It’s important that GDM is monitored and controlled, because risk factors increase when blood sugar levels remain high.
Many of us enjoy a cup of coffee or two a day and would find it difficult to give up. The good news is that even breastfeeding mothers can continue to drink coffee, or tea in moderation.
With a newborn comes many new skills to learn – one of them being how to safely wrap a baby. Wrapping (also known as swaddling) is a great strategy for parents to help their baby settle. Yet, new parents may understandably feel worried about their baby’s safety and getting it right. Read on for step-by-step guidelines on how to safely wrap a baby, plus some additional tips for safe wrapping.
One small person in a family is a very different arrangement than two, or more children. When a new baby comes into the mix, dynamics change and everyone needs to shuffle around until new positions are found.
Many parents have heard of bottle propping, also known as prop feeding. And most of us have seen babies sucking quietly away on their own.
Bottle propping is when, instead of the baby being held to drink their bottle, they are on their own. The bottle is supported by a pillow or blanket, even a soft toy so that it’s angled with the milk filling the neck of the bottle and the teat. The baby lies in their cot/pram/on the floor sucking away on their own.