This week we are looking at a few common terms related to birth. Let's take a look at the amniotic sac, the breech position, where the cervix is located and what dilation means.
Amniotic sac: You may have heard people talk about "their waters breaking". The unborn baby is inside a bag of waters also known as an amniotic sac. This helps protect and cushion the baby from any bumps or sudden movements. The waters (or amniotic fluid) also helps maintain a regular temperature for the baby.
Breech: This is a position where the baby's bottom or feet are at the bottom of the womb. Most babies are head down when it comes time for birth but some decide that they would rather enter the world feet first. It is possible to have a vaginal breech birth but it's a good idea to find a skilled practitioner to support you. If you are trying to turn a breech baby to the head down position, take a look at Spinning Babies.
Cervix: This is the lowest part of the womb or uterus. It is like a 'gate keeper' to the womb. It stays shut while pregnant and it opens during birth. When a 'vaginal exam' is performed during labour, the cervix is being checked to see how open it is.
Dilation: When we talk about dilation in birth we are talking about the opening of the cervix. A cervix needs to dilate to 10cm to allow a baby to pass from the uterus to the vagina during childbirth. Contractions help the cervix to dilate.
Hopefully you have learnt a thing or two this week. Make sure you have downloaded my free natural birth checklist (below). You'll also get a weekly mini childbirth lesson so that you can feel more confident and calm about birth.
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