In the article on early stages of labor, we looked at how a pregnant woman in Kenya, starts to experience contractions at the on set of the labor process. These contractions start slowly and progress to become stronger and stronger as your labor progresses.
At this stage your cervix starts to dilate even more and the duration it takes differs from one pregnant woman to another and depending on how ripe your cervix was at the onset of labor.
Now you should take as much rest as possible to save your energy for the work ahead. This early stage of labor ends when your cervix dilates to about 4cm.
When your cervix has dilated to the 4cm mark, your labor is termed as active. Now here things start to heat up. You experience stronger contractions that come more frequently and your cervix dilates even more and much faster as actual child birth draws closer.
Active Labor for the Pregnant Woman in Kenya
Once your cervix starts to dilate faster, you are discouraged to walk around and may not be able to talk much between the contractions. The contractions at this stage are much stronger and so more painful than the one you were experiencing at the early stage of labor.
Unlike in early labor, the contractions last much longer. They start coming after every five minutes and can last up to 1 minute. At this stage pick your hospital bag, which I hope your had previously packed, then call your doctor or the attending midwife and start making your way to the hospital.
This is a stage every pregnant woman in Kenya dreads, your baby is just around the next a while. Active labor period differs from one pregnant woman to another, so it is not easy to say just how long it will last for everyone. The baby at this stage has also started to descend to the birth canal. Due to the pain at this stage can be unbearable for some pregnant women so they consult their doctor for pain medication; this also differs from doctor to doctor.
Depending on how dilated you are when you get to the hospital, your doctor will decide whether you will have some time to relax or you will be confirmed to your bed for your baby’s sake.
If your doctor gives you a green light and you have sometime before you are confirmed to your bed, take advantage and walk around slowly and possibly take a warm shower. This helps you to divert your attention from your contractions and helps your muscles to relax.
You will need to relax, so implement all those relaxation techniques you learnt during your Lamaze classes, breathing exercises and have someone around you to massage your back, all these help a lot.
When your contractions draw even closer, it is an indication that your baby is positioning at the birth canal and you will have to stay in bed. At this time all your attention is directed to the contractions and you will less concerned about the modesties such as what you are wearing.
Comfort tips during labor for the pregnant woman in Kenya
If there is one thing every pregnant woman in Kenya would love to have at this time and place is comfort. In between the pain of contractions you will definitely need a quick fix in terms of comfort. Comfort measures will not take away the pain but will help you manage that pain. To keep it at a level that you can proceed without using medication.
These comfort measures are such as: –
- Positions: – These help you change the location of pressure and help your baby to move, thus speeding up the labor. These positions are such as knee-chest, dangle, hands and knees, labor dance, rocking, side lying and squatting.
- Movement in labor: – When you combine the position and movement you will set off active labor while helping you cope with stress and pain of the contractions. Movements like rocking your hips and swaying help a lot to ease your baby’s movement in to the birth canal.
- Some of these movements can be targeted to achieve certain goals. Pelvic rocking for example helps to reduce the pain on your lower back. So get to know which movements can achieve specific goals so as to help move your labor along faster and with minimal or no problems at all.
- Relaxation exercises, these include breathing and yoga exercises and you will learn these in the Lamaze class.
- Massage: – If you can get your partner to massage your back muscles, it will ease all the tension created during contractions.
- There are labor tools such as a tennis ball that you use to squeeze during contractions.
The active labor stage can get really painful, but do not freak out; your reward is just about here, keep your mind on the prize and listen to your midwife’s instructions. All these pains spell the final moments as a pregnant woman in Kenya, so take heart end is almost here.