ABCs of Labor and Birth

Everything from A to Z about labor and birth in Kansas City

AROM.  Artificial Rupture of Membranes.  This is performed by your provider to induce or accelerate your labor.  


Breathe. The most important part of the labor and birth process, breathe.


Cesarean Birth. Planned or unplanned, there are so many new things that they are implementing in hospitals to make these more gentle.


Doula. Non-Judgmental physical, informational, and emotional support is extremely important during your birth and postpartum.


Epidural. Liquid Happiness and pain relief.  Can help you relax and give you a chance to rest before the big moment!


Flashes.  Both hot AND cold flashes will happen due to your body’s adjustment to changing levels of hormones and blood flow.  Just a glimpse of what’s to come with menopause!!


Gender.  BOY or GIRL??  Blue or Pink???  Penis or Vagina???


Hydration. It is crucial to stay hydrated during labor!



Ice Chips. Munching on ice chips is a great way to help keep your mouth moist and to help you stay hydrated.



Juicy.  Giving birth is messy.  There will be a lot of bodily fluids…it’s normal, and it all washes off with a nice shower after baby!  ☺



Vitamin K shot. Babies are normally born with low levels of Vitamin K and this shot is offered right after birth to boost levels in a newborn.


Lightening.  No, you’re not going to be triggered into labor by a thunderstorm….This is when the baby’s head (hopefully) drops down into your pelvis in preparation for delivery.  



Mirror. Some hospitals/birth centers offer a mirror that allows you to watch your baby being born.



Noisy. Sometimes you make noises that you didn’t even think were possible.  It’s natural and helps with regulating your breathing.  Don’t be shy, do what feels right.



Oxytocin. The “LOVE” hormone.  The “FEEL GOOD” hormone. Until it causes contractions.  The feel good part of this hormone leaves…but, there is a prize for all of your hard work!



Placenta.  That AMAZING organ that has kept your baby alive for nine months.  



Quick Labor. Technically called “precipitous birth”. This happens when labor/birth takes only 3 to 5 hours.  It is a very intense labor and birth and contractions and be one on top of another.



Rest.  Making sure you are well rested so your body is able to save energy for when you will really need it.



Stages.  There are several stages of labor: Early Labor, Active Labor, Transition, Pushing, and Delivery of Placenta.  



Trust.  Trust your instincts.  Your body knows exactly what to do.  Go with it and you will do just fine.



Umbilical Cord.  The life line between your baby and that amazing placenta. Usually your partner will have the option to cut the cord after baby is born.



Vernix.  The white cheesy substance that covers and protects the skin of newborn babies.  It is comprised of oils and dead skin cells that is secreted by baby’s sebaceous glands during the second half of pregnancy



Water Birth.  Having your baby born in the water is an available option at birth centers in the Kansas City area or if you choose to do a home birth.  Some women find it very soothing and relaxing to labor in a tub, which is available at most Kansas City hospitals.



eXam. Most providers will (at some point in labor) give you a cervical exam



Yellow Fluid. Amniotic fluid should be clear. If it’s yellow and smells like pee, it is not amniotic fluid…your water did not break but the baby may have put pressure on your bladder. Brown or green could indicate meconium and your midwife or doctor should be called.


Zero Station.  When the baby’s head is level with your ischial spines (bony protrusions located in the narrowest part of your pelvis).  As the baby moves further into the birth canal, it becomes +1, +2, etc.

Heidi ShulistaABCs of Labor and Birth

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