A new animation shows, in detail, the changes that take place in a woman’s body during the process of vaginal birth. It shows the dramatic adjustments that a woman’s body undergoes to accommodate the passage of the average 7.5-pound baby through the birth canal.
The animation has gone viral after it was uploaded to the Facebook page, Pregnancy video.
The natural way for a woman to give birth is by vaginal birth. The process involves dramatic expansion of the birth canal to allow the baby to pass through safely.
The video animation shows in remarkable detail how the changes that make childbirth possible occur. The physical changes in adjustment to childbirth reveal why labor is so painful.
The gestation period in humans is about 280 days, or 40 weeks. The onset of labor is indicated by the occurrence of regular contractions of the wall of the uterus and dilation of the opening of the uterus called the cervix.
During the early stages of labor, the cervix dilates to about 10 cm, or four inches, and although this is a dramatic transformation of the cervical opening, it is still not nearly wide enough to allow the baby’s head to pass through.
After the cervix has dilated, the contractions of the wall of uterus strengthen and increase gradually in frequency. Experts say that labor is indicated by strong, regular and rhythmic contractions of the wall of the uterus about 10 minutes apart or less.
Less regular and weaker contractions suggest that the woman is not yet in labor, but in the early stages of the build up to labor.
An important indication of the imminence of the onset of labor is the water breaking. This is the moment when the membranous walls of the fluid-filled amniotic sac containing the baby breaks.
When the sac bursts, it releases its fluid through the vagina.
An expert, Elizabeth Duff, told the Daily Mail, “You may feel a popping sensation. And that’s exactly what happens, the amniotic sac is like a tough balloon filled with water, that bursts. Some women will feel a big gush, which can be potentially embarrassing, but it is quite rare.”
The mucus plug at the cervix is expelled with the amniotic fluid. The function of the mucus plug is to seal up the uterus during pregnancy. This helps to prevent infections from passing from outside into the uterus.
After the water breaks, labor contractions strengthen.
Except in cases of breech presentation, where other parts of the body, such as the feet or the bottom pass through the birth canal first, babies are usually delivered head first, a process termed “crowning.”
As the powerful contractions of the uterus force the baby out, its head pushes through the birth canal, forcing the cervix to expand further. The baby pushes through the vagina in a twisting motion.
The twisting motion is a maneuver that allows the baby’s head, and later the shoulders, to pass through the birth canal at an optimal angle, given the limited space provide by the articulation of the pelvic bones and the stretch limits of the entire birth canal.
The strength of the contractions and the physical stretching of the walls of the birth canal as the baby passes causes intense pain. But it is acknowledged universally that women tend to forget about the pains of labor as soon they hold their little bundle of joy in their arms.
But some women choose to avoid the pain of childbirth through an epidural. This is an anesthetic injected into the woman’s body to deaden pain and make the process of childbirth less painful.
[Image: Facebook/Pregnancy video]