Labor and Delivery (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP
Dr. Balentine received his undergraduate degree from McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland. He attended medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in1983. He completed his internship at St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia and his Emergency Medicine residency at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center in the Bronx, where he served as chief resident.
In this Article
- Labor and delivery facts
- What are the signs of labor?
- What are the stages of labor?
- Stage 1
- Stage 2
- Stage 3
- What kind of monitoring is done during labor?
- What are pain control options during labor and delivery?
- Find a local Obstetrician-Gynecologist in your town
Stage 3 begins after the baby has been delivered. In stage 3, the placenta and fetal membranes are delivered. The placenta and membranes are sometimes referred to as the afterbirth. This usually takes only 5 to 10 minutes, but it can take up to 30 minutes. There are usually mild contractions that accompany stage 3 of labor and there may be some associated bleeding.
What kind of monitoring is done during labor?
During the first stage of labor, you will likely have pelvic examinations to check the extent and progression of the dilation of the cervix. The baby's heart rate is usually checked, sometimes with a Doppler device or fetoscope, as was done in prenatal check-ups. Additionally, many women have continuous fetal monitoring during labor. This measures both the baby's heartbeat and the contractions of the uterus. This is generally done by placing two transducers on your abdomen that send signals to a device that records the information. Internal fetal monitoring is another type of fetal monitoring. In this case, a small electrode is passed through the cervix and attached to the baby's scalp. The type of monitoring depends upon a number of factors. Your health care professional will choose the most appropriate type of monitoring for your individual situation. Continuous fetal monitoring is typically done, for example, if the woman receives epidural anesthesia or oxytocin (Pitocim) to induce labor. It also is usually done for high-risk pregnancies and when complications develop during labor.
What are pain control options during labor and delivery?
Many women opt not to receive medications or interventions for pain control during labor and delivery, while others choose medical or procedural pain control methods. Several different opioid analgesic and opioid agonist medications can be given for pain control. Examples are meperidine, fentanyl, morphine, butorphanol, and nalbuphine. Regional anesthesia is another option. Regional anesthesia can be administered as epidural, spinal, or combined spinal-epidural anesthesia. Research has shown that regional anesthesia is more effective than medications for pain control, and large clinical trials did not show an increase in Cesarean section rate in women who opt for regional anesthesia. Women who choose not to receive pain medications or anesthesia can use breathing techniques and imagery to help manage pain. Relaxation techniques and yoga have both been shown to improve pain control in labor.
REFERENCE: MedscapeReference.com. Normal Labor and Delivery.
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