First-Time Mom? Here’s What to Expect During Labor and Delivery

First pregnancy - Sriramakrishnahospital

For most moms, the first time they find out they are pregnant is one of the most exciting times in their lives. You will never forget the thrill of hearing the news, understanding that a little life is growing inside, and then telling your family and friends. It’s the beginning of new beginnings of your life and the time your family started to grow. 

Even though it’s great to be excited and look forward to this time in your life, there are some important things you should know and the steps you should take to protect health and also the health of the child. 

What are some early signs of pregnancy that you need to look out for?

Most women tend to believe that a missed period is the only sign of pregnancy. Although missed periods are the most common symptom of pregnancy, there are various other signs that indicate a pregnancy.

  • Bloating
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Particular food cravings
  • Swollen breasts

During the journey of pregnancy every mother will be excited and looking forward to a happy and healthy pregnancy. But first time mothers will have mixed emotions about labor and also there may be numerous questions and doubts regarding the same. Also the amount of care the mothers take during pregnancy it is important to take enough care post pregnancy as the mother’s body also needs time to heal.

What is referred to as labor and how does it work?

As the end of pregnancy draws near, your body will get ready for labor and birth. This is how your baby will come into the world. Each person’s work is often different. Some labors are short and easy while others are long and difficult. While in some cases labor may stop or slow down, such cases require immediate medical attention. 

What are the three stages of labor involved?

Early labor:

For a first birth, labor usually lasts 12 to 24 hours but in some cases it only takes about 8 to 10 hours. During this time, your labor will go through three different stages. Most of the time, the first stage of labor is the longest. It lasts from the time you start feeling contractions which are the signs of early labor, until your cervix opens. Early labor is the beginning of this stage. When a woman is in early labor, the cervix dilates from 0 to 6 centimeters.

Active labor:

As time goes on and your contractions get harder, you will move into the second part of the first stage of labor which is called active labor. As you dilate from 6 to 8 centimeters, you are in the first stage of labor. When you dilate from 8 to 10 centimeters, you are in the second stage. During active labor, your contractions will get harder and the cervix will open up quickly. Pushing is the second stage of labor. During this part of your labor, you will actually have your baby.


The third stage is when you give birth to the baby’s placenta. This is also known as the afterbirth. During these steps, your body goes through dilation and effacement to get ready for birth. 


During this time, the cervix opens and stretches to make room for the baby to come out. From 1 to 10 centimeters are used to measure dilation. During labor, the doctor will do a vaginal exam to see how far along you are. In the second stage of labor, you will be 10 centimeters dilated and ready to have your baby. 


During labor, the cervix not only gets longer, but it also gets weaker. The amount that your cervix shortens and thins is usually measured in numbers. During labor, your cervix will open from 0 to 100%. 

Think of your cervix as a round opening that needs to get wider and thinner before your baby can pass through it. Contractions cause this stretching and shortening. Contractions can feel like cramps, like when you are having periods or like your stomach is tightening and hurting. You might also feel pressure in your pelvis and a dull ache in the back and lower belly. 

Visit the best gynecologist hospital in Coimbatore, to make your pregnancy journey comfortable and simple.

What indicates various signs of labor?

Many women have more than one sign that they are about to go into labor. Some of these signs of labor are:

  • Weight loss
  • Backaches 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Nesting 

No one knows how it begins or any major signs, but changes in hormones and the body may be signs that labor is about to start. 

What are the ways to cope with contractions during delivery?

As the end of your pregnancy gets closer, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about how to deal with discomfort and pain during labor. Your doctor will talk about a number of ways to ease your pain. 

There are also ways to ease the pain of labor at home that include:

  • Soak yourself in warm tub water.
  • Listen to some soothing music
  • Try using aromatherapy
  • Try to get a back massage
  • Distract your mind by walking
  • Do rhythmic breathing exercises
  • Try staying in a straight position as this will help in the rotation of the baby.

Before the labor begins, the mothers may notice certain delivery symptoms in the 9th month that help them track the arrival of labor and be prepared to calm themselves during the process.

What are the types of delivery options offered?

There are two main ways to give birth: vaginal and C-section (Cesarean). During vaginal birth the baby will go through the birth canal on his or her own. During a C-section, the doctor makes a cut in the belly and then delivers the baby. Most babies are usually born through vaginal birth. But few women may need to undergo a C-section for a number of reasons such as:

  • If the baby is not lying with his or her head down.
  • If the baby is too big to fit through your hips on its own.
  • If your baby seems to be in trouble.
  • If your placenta gets in the way of your cervix, this is called placenta previa.
  • If you have health problems or complications that make a C-section the best choice, you may need to have one.
  • If your baby needs to be born quickly because of an emergency situation.

Important Takeaway:

As you get ready to have a baby, you are likely to feel a lot of different things. It’s normal to feel excited and worried at the same time. Talking to a gynecologist in Coimbatore about signs and symptoms and also how to manage the labor can help you know what to expect. Your doctor will help you have the most comfortable journey.

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