Labor can start in 2 ways. The membranes can rupture or contractions start coming. So much is happening when labor starts.
Imagine your uterus is a balloon. The cervix or opening is the nipple:
The first phase of labor is called “the latent phase ”. Contractions make the opening flexible and soft. It will become shorter and shorter until it is completely flat. The uterus then starts to open. This phase can take several hours if contractions are not yet very strong.
Labor can also start because the membranes rupture. If so, check the color of the water. If the baby has defecated the water will be green or brown. If this is the case we will take you to the hospital and the midwife in the hospital will take over care. Continuous registration of the heartbeat of the baby is then required. Most of the time contractions start within 24 hours after rupture of the membranes, but sometimes nothing happens. Then also, hospital will take over care. We will take arrange that for you.
Active phase. In this phase contractions come every 3 minutes lasting 60 seconds. When the uterus has opened 5 cm. we will go to the hospital if that’s the place where you prefer to have your baby. It’s also called “ a poliklinische bevalling ”. When you have 10 centimeters dilatation the baby can start to come down for the last phase.
When dilation is 10cm. The head of the baby will start pushing down and you will feel the urge to press. Now the past phase is starting. Average it takes 1 hour to push the baby out.
When we come to your house we will first observe you to get a good idea of what is going on. We will check the position and growth of the baby and listen to the heart beat. When we think labor has started we will check by vaginal examination if and how far the uterus has dilated. If it is more then 5 cm we will go to the hospital with you. Do you want to deliver at home we will call a nurse to assist us.