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Outline the Birth stages and the role of hormones involved.

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Outline the Birth stages and the role of hormones involved. There are four stages to giving birth, the longest being the first one. The first stage consists of three sub stages, called: latent, transition and active phase. Before any pain actually comes through from the contraction, the baby's head slides further in to the mother's pelvis, this process is slow and is called "lightening". It is very hard to notice physically and may vary in time for it to complete. At a certain point mucous is leased with blood (in the vaginal area). This is a signal that the cervix is beginning to dilate. It is there as a barrier to protect the vagina from any foreign bodies. This blood tinged mucous can come out either slowly or all at once, if it comes slowly then it is not noticeable as there is already a late pregnancy vaginal discharge. ...read more.


The next phase is the transition phase. It is the shortest and most difficult one, which lasts from half an hour to 1 and a half hours. The contractions come between every 2 to 3 minutes and last from 60 to 90 seconds and are very strong. This stage causes increased nausea, vomiting, burping or hiccups, shaking, hot/cold feelings; fatigue and sensitivity to touch. The baby is now ready to come out, the second stage of giving birth. Stage two beings with a fully dilated cervix and the future mother starts to push. This is also when a episiotomy is applied. This stage lasts one to two hours, and contractions are five to two minutes apart, lasting between 60 and 90 seconds, and the baby is going down the canal head first. The baby's head also starts to show and pain in the birth canal is experienced. ...read more.


This rise of estrogen causes the smooth muscle cells of the uterus to make connexin and form gap junctions. These connect the smooth muscle cells electrically so that they can contract together as labor beings. Oxytocin is secreted by the posterior lobe of the pituitary as well as by the uterus, this causes the uterus to contract and labor beings. During the few days after the baby is born the breasts begin to secrete milk. Milk production is stimulated by the pituitary hormone prolactin, which is stimulated by oxytocin. An other hormone that is involved in the pregnany is relaxin. It is a polypeptide that has been found to relax the pubic ligaments, and to soften and enlarge the opening of the cervix. 1 All information obtained from: http://www.birthsource.com/articlefile/Article31.html ...read more.

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