- The bones and muscles in the pelvis support the developing uterus and the baby in it and open the way for the baby to be born.
- The uterus that encloses the baby continues to develop according to the development of the baby in it.
- The cervix is actually part of the uterus, it’s just that they are composed of different tissues. During pregnancy, the cervix will thicken and close. Then, just before birth, the contractions that occur pull the cervix into the uterus and thin (called peeling) and open (called the opening). When the cervix is fully open (approximately 10cm) contraction after contraction helps the baby move from the uterus to the vagina or cervix.
- The vagina connects the cervix to the outside of your body. Inside the vagina there are many folds called rugae which will open when the baby comes out through it.
What Will Happen To My Body Before Labor Begins?
Your body has begun to prepare itself for labor during pregnancy. However, the final intensive preparation takes place only in the last weeks of pregnancy.
- Pregnancy hormones work to soften the ligamentous muscles between the bony structures in the pelvis which give the pelvis additional space for the birth process. During that time, you may feel discomfort, your joints will ache, and you will feel tired easily.
- Other hormones start to soften your cervix, which is the neck of the uterus or womb. During pregnancy the cervix is closed because it functions to support the baby in the uterus. Labor occurs when the cervix is opened. However, your cervix may already begin to soften, thin, and open before labor begins. Every woman at every birth may experience different things. Some women may go into labor before the cervix is fully open, while other women may experience contractions that make the cervix open 3-4cm or more before labor begins. Your doctor or midwife may recommend that you do a cervical exam closer to your due date.
- Your baby begins to move down in the pelvis. At this stage you may feel pressure on your lower abdomen or you may feel that you can breathe more easily. Your family or friends may tell you if you look different or they will say that your baby is starting to descend. Usually this happens a few weeks before birth in young mothers who give birth for the first time. Whereas for women who have given birth this may not happen before the birth process.
- You may experience retraction or bleeding in the mucous membranes. During the pregnancy process, the mucous membrane is inside the cervix. When the cervix begins to soften and open, the mucous membranes relax and slowly pass through the vagina. Some women may experience an increase in the mucous membranes a few weeks before delivery while others may not notice it at all.
- Rupture of membranes may occur prior to labor. In most women, the contractions will occur at the same time. You may need to tell your doctor or midwife if you feel your water has broken.
What Can I Expect Emotionally?
In addition to preparing physically, you may need to prepare emotionally. You must feel strong and ready for labor. No need to overdo it, just calm yourself and save enough energy for labor. (Also read: Normal Childbirth )
You may feel excessively worried. You may also feel uneasy about things like whether your water will break in public, whether your doctor or midwife will be there when you are about to give birth, whether your partner can help you, or whether your bowels will come out while you are in labor. go through labor and how your partner reacts. You may feel anxious about the safety of you and your baby. You may feel worried about having to have a C-section. You may be worried that you might pass out during childbirth. You need to know that all these things are normal.
If you feel constantly worried, try to find some time and collect all your worries. Then try the following:
- Choose your anxiety and say it out loud. For example, if you are afraid to have a C-section, say “I’m afraid that I won’t be able to give birth normally.”
- Mention any positive qualities about yourself or qualities you have that overcomes your anxiety. For example “I am strong and healthy, I will definitely be able to give birth well.”
- Now, talk about your anxiety in a positive way, including what may and may not happen, and how your positive qualities can overcome the anxiety. For example, “My strength will help me if I have to undergo surgery, but almost all women give birth normally. I’m strong and I can definitely be like them too. “
- Do it with the same command for your other anxieties. During times of worry, reiterate these things and state that your worry is over.
- When you feel the worry coming back, repeating positive commands (I am strong and I can give birth smoothly) will help you gather positive energy.
- While doing this you will find relaxation exercises that focus on positive mental preparation for labor.