This week we continue with more words you might hear when you are preparing for birth. Knowledge is power.
During pregnancy, the cervix stays closed and has a mucus plug to help protect the baby from outside pathogens. Towards the end of pregnancy or in early labour, the cervix will efface. This means it will soften, shorten and become thinner. The mucus plug will be released and this is known as 'a show'. It is a great sign that your body is getting ready for birth.
A newborn has an amazing skull that can mould and change shape to fit through the birth canal. The fontanelles (or soft spots) can be found in the front and back of a newborns head. These soft spots also allow the baby's brain to grow rapidly in their first year of life and usually closes around nine to eighteen months of age.
Nitrous gas can be breathed in through a mask or mouthpiece. When used during labour it can help reduce anxiety and pain. It can be used at any stage of labour and the effects wear off as soon you stop breathing the gas. For many people, nitrous can work really well to alleviate the intensity of labour while for others it just makes them feel dizzy and not have any real effect on their pain levels.
Birthing your baby at home can be a very empowering and satisfying experience. When supported by a midwife it is a very safe option. The main advantages of birthing at home is that people feel comfortable, labour can progress unhindered and there is less need for interventions.
Hopefully you have learnt more about birth today. Make sure you have the birth plan checklist, that you can download by entering your name and email below.
Download this free natural birth checklist that covers practical tips and natural suggestions for the three stages of labor. Start feeling more confident about your birth plan.