‘The process of expulsion of fetus, placenta and membranes’ is called Labour. The uterine musculature has a natural tendency to expel anything inside; however the fetus is contained in the uterine cavity for nine months for nurturing and growth. Once the growth schedule is over, the musculature gets ready to expel everything. The Uterus is a bag of muscles with opening at the bottom. It has to contract hard and push the fetus against the closed cervix (opening). Fetal head is pushed down on soft cervix which gets stretched and dilated to full 10cm diameter. This is the first stage of labour.
In second stage of labour the fetus is pushed through a narrow birth passage and out in the world, with a little effort of mother.
The third stage comprises of expulsion of remaining placenta and membranes. The uterus not only contracts but retracts too, which means every time the muscle fibre contracts, it does not relax again, it shrinks. So the muscle fibre contracts and shrinks (retracts) there by pushing its contents further down and out.
This process of expulsion once triggered can’t be stopped by any means. So once the uterine contraction begins, it starts to finish.
This whole process involves “A lot of WORK” by the uterus and mother…..that’s why it is called LABOUR = work.
There are many uncertainties involved in this journey of Baby being born naturally (read normally).
I will share some interesting facts about this physiological process, in my next blogs…