Second Stage of Labor
What happens in the second stage of labor?
Cervix becomes fully dilated. The membranes if present usually rupture during this stage or they are manually ruptured. The color of the amniotic fluid is a pointer towards the well being of the baby. If the fluid is meconium stained, then it indicates that the fetus is in respiratory distress and the fetus has to be delivered immediately. Pain becomes more frequent and is typically described as bearing down pains. As the pain increases the intensity of uterine contractions increases. Vaginal examination is done to review the progress of the fetus descending down the pelvis.
How is the second stage of labor conducted?
The mother is advised to pass urine at the beginning of this stage. If is unable to pass urine due to pressure on the bladder, catheterization is done. She is asked to lie down with her back to the labor table. She is encouraged to bear down when the contractions reaches its peak and to take deep breaths in between. Generally the head is delivered between the contractions. Once the head is delivered, the shoulders are expelled during the next contraction.
After the delivery of the shoulders the body is generally expelled quickly without much effort. The umbilical cord is then tied at the two ends once the pulsations stops. One end is tied leaving about four centimeters from the umbilicus of the baby and the other ligature near the vulval outlet and the cord is cut between the two ligatures.
- Mudaliar and Menon's Obstetrics - www.babycentre.co.uk
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