Precautions During Labor

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Delivering your first child might cause some anxiety and worries due to all the signs of real contraction(tanda bersalin semakin hampir) and some precautionary steps can help you lessen the stress. During your third trimester, you will experience some symptoms and signs of labor that might be scary for you but being able to understand how these signs and symptoms occur can help you get through this final stage of pregnancy.

  • Contractions

During your third trimester or when you’re near to your due date, you might experience false labor pain or also known as Braxton-Hicks contractions. These contractions are a normal part of pregnancy and it should not be a concern as it will not lead to delivery. The cause of Braxton-Hicks contractions are unknown but there are some triggers that might cause the false contractions to occur such as being very active, having a full bladder, being dehydrated and after sexual activity. All these triggers have one commonality which is causing stress on the fetus and in need for increased blood flow to the placenta. Not only does the Braxton-Hicks contraction help to prepare for delivery but it also increases the blood flow to the placenta to provide oxygen-rich blood for the fetus.

There are a few ways that you can do to ease the false labor contractions such as:

  • If you are very active, you should rest by lying down or go for a walk if you have been sitting for a long period of time.
  • Always keep your bladder empty as it helps in lessen the false labor contractions.
  • Drink water and stay hydrated
  • Relax by having a warm bath, listening to music or even taking a nap

True labor contractions are the signs of labor that you need to be concerned about. When your true labor contractions occur you should start going to the hospital. During true labor contractions you will feel pain around the abdomen and your back while Braxton-Hicks only cause discomfort of the abdomen. The pain will start low and increase gradually. The frequency, intensity and duration of the contractions will also increase until it will recur every few minutes and last from one to two minutes. 

During your true labor contractions there are certain things that you can and cannot do. Firstly, true labor contractions start with onset of labor and during this time your cervix will start to dilate. This is the first stage of labor which will end when the cervix is fully dilated.

During the early stage, pregnant mothers are not recommended to lie down as it leads to inertia and increases the anxiety of the pregnant mother. If you need to lie down, you can lie down in a lateral position as it will avoid hypotension. Towards the end of the first stage, the patient must lie down in bed.

While the contractions occur during the first stage, you should not bear down as it is useless, can cause exhaustion and have a high risk of genital prolapse. 

  • Rupture of membranes

Rupture of membranes or commonly known as water breaking should not be ignored. Keep in mind that it can come as a gush of water or trickles of fluid leaking. It might be difficult to know if your water broke or not. Some people often mistake it as urine. But whether you feel your water broke or not, you should always call or visit the doctor to get it examined and be certain. Your doctor can check by physical examination or even with ultrasound to check the amniotic fluid volume.

If your water broke, the best thing to do is to rest in bed and preferably on your left side to improve placental perfusion. Usually contractions will start within 12 hours of the initial water break. During this time you should also protect yourself and your baby from infection. Use panty liner or maxi pad to keep the amniotic fluid from wetting your clothes. Avoid using tampons and keep your vaginal area clean.

  • Bleeding

Bleeding during pregnancy can be due to multiple causes. Spotting or light bleeding can be a normal occurrence for some pregnant women. Spotting is known as trace amounts of pink, red or dark brown blood. You might notice spotting when using the restroom or notice a few drops on the underwear.

You should always contact your doctor when you experience any spotting at any time during your pregnancy. Spotting during the third trimester of your pregnancy, can be due to cervical examination or due to sexual activity and it is usually not to be a concern. It can also mean “the show or bloody show” which is a sign of labor. 

Contact your doctor if you experience any heavy bleeding during your late pregnancy as it can be due to:

  • Placenta previa
  • Placental abruption
  • Vasa previa
  • Fetal movement

After 20 weeks of gestation, the baby should move throughout the pregnancy. If a pregnant mother notices that there are less than 10 movements in a 2 to 3 hour period, you need to contact your doctor. Fetal movement usually slows down as the due date approaches.