When you go into labor, your body is getting ready to deliver your baby. To deliver your baby, several things need to happen.
- The opening between your uterus and vagina gets bigger. This opening is called the cervix, and it needs to become larger in order for your baby to pass through.
- Your baby drops into your vaginal canal. You may feel your baby get into position as you get closer to delivery. You could experience this either as feeling “lighter” or as pressure on your vagina or pelvis.
- The muscles of your uterus prepare to push your baby. Your uterus is a giant muscle and as it pushes the baby, it contracts. These contractions get more intense and closer together as you get closer to delivering your baby. Contractions can be very painful, and you should have a plan for pain management during your pregnancy.
- The protective fluid sac around your baby breaks. This is also known as your water breaking, or the rupture of membranes. When you are pregnant, your baby is surrounded by a sac of fluid. When you go into labor, that sac needs to break so the baby can enter the birth canal.
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Sources: www.mothersadvocate.org, The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin with Katie Rohs. https://www.lamaze.org/parent-information