Week 37 - What to Expect During Labor

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Hello. This is Dr. Mauldin and you are now 37 weeks pregnant.
Knowing what happens during labor will make it easier for you to relax and to do your part. On average, labor lasts 12-14 hours for your first birth. In future pregnancies, your labor will be shorter.
Labor is divided into 3 stages. The first stage is usually the longest. It begins when the cervix begins to dilate and ends when it’s completely open. Near the end of this stage, the contractions become closer and stronger.
The second stage is from complete dilation until your baby is delivered. In most cases, you will be pushing throughout this stage. It can be a lot of work – and can last up to 3 hours.
After the baby is born, the uterus continues to contract until the placenta is delivered. This stage lasts from 5-20 minutes.
After delivery, you will begin getting to know your baby. Unless you or your baby have a medical problem, you will be able to hold the baby… and if you are planning to breastfeed, you should be able to start while you and the baby are still in the delivery room.
Most women spend about 1–2 days in the hospital after a vaginal birth. If you had a cesarean birth, or if problems occur, you will probably stay longer.
Most hospitals have lactations consultants available to assist you with breastfeeding. They will be a great help to you – as will the nurses caring for you while you are in the hospital.
Before you go home, you and your baby may begin to get vaccines. They protect against diseases like rubella and hepatitis.
I’ve enjoyed talking with you during your pregnancy. It sure has been fun – and I know you are about to embark on a great time in your life. Get your rest when you can – and enjoy. It’ll go by before you know it. 
Hope you’re enjoying your pregnancy
Hope all is going well with you.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about any questions that you have.
Remember to eat healthfully and get plenty of rest and exercise
Don’t forget to get some exercise several times a week.
Take good care of yourself and the baby.
Stay healthy.

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