Pregnancy as Childbirth Begins: The First Stage of Labour
Labour is signalled through contraction. Basically, while the foetus develops, the wall of the uterus stretches forward but when the baby is ready to be born, the operations of the uterus is absolutely in the reverse order. The uterus stretches inward against the baby. It is the pressure that is known as contraction. Apart from contraction, the onset of labour could also be signalled through the discharge of mucus stained with blood. This often precedes or goes along with the painful contraction and within 24 hours of its appearance, all things being equal, labour will commence.
In the same vein, uterine contraction usually forces the rupture of the membrane which forms the amniotic sac. Its resultant effect is that there will be a flow of fluid through the birth canal thereby points to the commencement of labour. The breaking of the sac normally speed up the starting of labour. As a result, labour always start within few hours of spontaneous breakage of the sac. In some cases where labour refuses to start within 12 to 24 hours despite the breaking of the sac most especially when pregnancy is close to full term, “Oxytocin” is administered to speed up its commencement.