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The Baby Is Almost Here; What Can I Expect?

It’s almost time to meet your child! This time can be a little fraught: on the one hand, you cannot wait to meet your child. On the other hand, you’re probably tired of needing to use the bathroom so often.

We understand.

On important decision you’ll need to make involves the type of birth you’re going to have. Here are three options for you to know about.

What are common ways to deliver a baby?

There are common ways to deliver a baby: Vaginally, Cesarean Section, or VBAC. Most of you are familiar with vaginally or Cesarean section, so I'd like to talk about VBAC. What does that stand for? Vaginal Birth After Cesarean section. If you are a woman who has had a baby already by Cesarean section, and you're going to deliver again, please understand a physician should give you the choice of trying to deliver this baby vaginally, which is vaginal birth after you've had a Cesarean section, or they can offer you another Cesarean section.

The risk of a VBAC delivery is that when you attempt to deliver that baby vaginally, having had a Cesarean section operation where they've cut your uterus after cutting your skin, it can increase the risk for both you and your baby. So if you feel uncomfortable attempting a VBAC delivery, please ask what your choices are, and ask if you can have a Cesarean section again. It is oftentimes more safe for you and for your baby.

Once you’ve made the decision that is best for you, there’s not much to do until the baby is ready to great the world. One way your OB/GYN will tell whether or not you’re ready is by how dilated your cervix is.

Dilation of cervix

When you're in the hospital and you're undergoing labor, they do exams, manual exams. And one of the things you'll hear them say is that you're five centimeters dilated, or six centimeters dilated.

What does that mean?

That's a measurement of the dilation of your cervix. The cervix is the opening of your uterus that allows the baby to be born vaginally.

When they do those exams, they're seeing how open your cervix is. Zero is completely closed and 10 centimeters is complete, and that's when you can deliver. So it's important to keep track if you can, or ask, what your dilation level is in your cervix.

Now, even before you’re dilated and ready to start the delivery process, the doctors and nurses are going to pay close attention to where your baby is inside of you, and how she or she is positioned. The position of your child is important, because it can determine whether or not your labor will go as planned.

Baby’s station

Another thing that you will hear the nurses and doctors talk about when you're in the hospital during labor is what your station is. What does that mean? It's the measurement of the top of the baby's head in relation to your birth canal. And obviously you want the top of the baby's head to descend down through the birth canal until delivery. And so they measure that.

An easy way to remember what station means is that negative is bad and positive is good. They will measure your baby's descent of the head down the birth canal first in negative numbers – negative three descending to negative two, negative one and then zero means your baby's head is engaged and ready to deliver.

As you push, station will be positive, which is good. Positive one, positive two and positive three until you finally deliver your baby girl or baby boy.

At Crandall & Pera Law, we want every part of your labor and delivery process to go as smoothly as it can. If it doesn’t, however, we will be right there beside you, fighting for your family and your family’s future.

To learn more about our services, or to speak with an experience birth injury lawyer in Kentucky or Ohio, please call 877-955-0020, or request a free case review, and let us help you.

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