There are three widely recognized stages of labor.
Stage 1 is preparation of your body for your baby to be born.
- Your cervix dilates from 0 centimetres to 10 centimetres
- Your cervix goes from a firm to a soft consistency
- Your cervix effaces, or thins
- Your cervix tilts from a posterior position to anterior position
- And your baby drops, or becomes engaged in your pelvis
Stage 2 is the pushing and birth phase
- You will bear down and push similar to having a bowel movement
- Your baby will move into and further down the birth canal
- Your baby is born
Stage 3 is the birth of the placenta
- You will have small contractions that cause the placenta to separate from the uterine wall and be delivered
Even though the goals of each stage are clear, the time, intensity, and feelings associated with each vary widely from woman to woman.
In Calgary, regardless of how long you labor, where you labor, or what provider you plan to deliver with, you can have support through each stage of labor.
Support during the 1st stage of labor may look like this:
You call because you are starting to feel contractions every 15 minutes or so. Is this when you go to the hospital? Are you supposed to call someone? Are you supposed to do something right now? Call your doula! Your doula can help you identify what are the best next steps for you and your partner. If you are feeling intensity increasing, if your contractions are getting closer together, you are in early labor.
When does your doula meet you?
When ever you need her to!
Typically, we at Chinook City Doulas find that couples enjoy the early phase of labor. It gives them an opportunity to appreciate the excitement, mark the changes and how far they have come, and support is typically easy given through distraction and relaxation. If you would like a doula at that time, we are happy to join you! But, having that intimate moment with your partner while having questions answered by phone tends to be appreciated and just the right amount of doula at this point.
Your doula will come when you tell her to come!
By staying in close phone contact, your doula will be able to ask questions, hear you labor through early contractions, and gauge progress. When it becomes your desire, or it becomes clear that labor has picked up in progress or intensity, your doula is happy to join you at home or meet you at the hospital.
Your doula will have tools and insight, but you know your body. We know you are capable and we can’t wait to join you when you are ready for us!
We support you through your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd stage of labor
Once your doula joins you and your partner, we stay, support, and journey through labor, delivery, and early bonding.
The middle and end of the 1st stage of labor may use more hands on skills. Your Chinook City Doula is ready to support you with touch and encouragement, information and attunement. Your birth is unique to you, and our care is flexible for all the diversity of birth!
The 2nd stage of labor – Pushing
We are there to guide, encourage, give cool rag, or frankly…a vomit bucket. There are many images of pushing out there, but your birth has the unique quality of being YOURS and we are ready to help with suggestions, or follow your lead through the process.
Chinook City Doulas is flexible and constant. We can help with direction, we can hold a leg, or we can step back and help your partner feel confident supporting you.
And then, your baby is born!
The 3rd stage of labor – Birth of your Placenta
There is typically very little you will need to do for the birth of the placenta. Most often, it is a natural process that is sometimes encouraged through different means, depending on your care provider. But with a small push about 30 minutes after the birth of your baby, the placenta is born. You will already have been holding, loving, touching, and nursing your baby.
And your doula is right there, to help with breastfeeding, or take a few snap shots of the events, or give insight into any particular protocol your hospital may have.
The most important phase
Chinook City Doulas are honored to be present for all the stages of your labor in the way that best suits your family. And of course the most important phase of all… becoming parents! We are honored to be selected as a part of your birth team and to care for you in the postpartum period.