The pushing phase of delivery, also known as crowning, is an essential step. It is a sign that the baby is about to leave your body. Even if it hurts, it is controllable. The body has intrinsic defences against pain in addition to the many therapies available.
Be sure to discuss any questions or worries you may have with your gynaecologist or obstetrician before giving birth. It is always preferable to be ready before going through the profoundly life-altering experience of childbirth.
Crowning Medical Definition
At this point, your baby’s head should be visible through the vaginal opening. This happens when you push and deliver your baby during the second stage of labour.
Once your baby crowns, you push out the rest of their body. If your tissues require more time to stretch, your doctor may instruct you to move more slowly or delicately
Your doctor might make a little cut called an episiotomy to enlarge your vaginal entrance if your baby is too large. However, you won’t typically require this. Forceps, which resemble big spoons, may also be used by your doctor to help your baby come out. Vacuum extraction is an additional choice that makes use of suction.
Birth Crowning: What Does It Feel Like?
Image from iStock
Many women report that crowning causes a severe burning or stinging sensation. This is the origin of the phrase “ring of fire.” Some people say that being crowned didn’t feel at all like what they had anticipated. Others claim they weren’t at all affected.
There is a range of experiences, as you might expect, and there is no one right or wrong way to feel.
The feeling’s duration varies as well. Since the nerves are blocked while your skin stretches, you could not feel anything at all. That’s right, the stretch might be so strong that you experience more numbness than pain.
Speaking of pain, you might feel more of a dulled-down burning feeling if you decide to get an epidural. You might also experience more pressure than burning. Your level of pain relief will determine this. Most likely, the pressure is brought on by how low your baby is in the birth canal.
Birth Crowning: When Does It Happen
During labour, there are four stages:
- early and active labor
- fetal descent through the birth canal (birth)
- delivery of the placenta
In the second stage, which leads to the delivery of your child, crowning takes place.
How Long After Crowning Is Baby Born?
Your body will have experienced several regular contractions up to this point when your cervix thins down and dilates from 0 to 6 centimetres (cm) in early labour. This process can take hours or even days.
The cervix dilates from 6 to 10 cm during active labour, or about a centimetre every hour, during the period of 4 to 8 hours. The first stage of labour could last anywhere from 12 to 19 hours in total. Women who have already given birth may find this process to be quicker.
When you are fully dilated, you crown. Even while it may seem like you’ve completed a lot of the job, there may still be some left. Keep going, mum!
Birth, the second stage of labour, can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, and perhaps much longer. Typically speaking, it lasts from 20 minutes to 2 hours. Women who are expecting for the first time or who have had an epidural may take longer than these estimations.
Your doctor or midwife will keep a careful eye on your development during each of these stages and update you on your specific timeframe.
You might even be able to reach down and touch your baby’s head during crowning or use a mirror to look at it. The sight might inspire some ladies. Others could feel overwhelmed or perhaps a little repulsed by the event. Don’t let anything make you feel humiliated! Mixed feelings are quite normal.
The good news is that after you achieve crowning, it can just take one or two contractions to deliver your child.
Tips To Help You Prepare For Crowning
You can take steps to get ready for the experience of pushing and crowning.
Above all, think about enrolling in a childbirth education course at your hospital to find out more about what to anticipate during labour and delivery. Unable to find a class nearby? There are several that you may complete online.
Discuss a pain management strategy with your doctor that will work for you. There are several choices, including nitrous oxide, massage, breathing exercises, epidural anaesthetic, and local and epidural anaesthesia.
When you’re told you’re the crowning, resist the impulse to move too quickly. Relaxing can enable your tissues to expand and could possibly stop severe tears.
Acquaint yourself with the various birthing positions that may make delivery easier. The best positions are thought to be getting down on all fours, side-lying, or semi-sitting. In fact, the habit of lying on your back could make pressing challenging. Your risk of tearing may rise if you squat.
Try to keep in mind that you are almost ready to meet your baby after you feel the ring of fire. Knowing this might enable you to figuratively push past the discomfort and anguish
Preparing for delivery
Before the actual occurrence, you can get ready for the birth crowning stage. Burns advises perineal massage since it can lessen the stinging during crowning and lower the risk of tears. It might even reduce the need for an episiotomy, a surgical cut made in the perineum to aid birthing.
Starting in the 35th week of pregnancy, perineal massage is inserting a lubricated finger to extend the vaginal opening for about 10 minutes each day. The perineum is the area of skin between the vagina and the rectum. Burns advises using heated washcloths to the perineum and the area around the vagina as the baby’s due date approaches.
According to Burns, there are more methods that can be useful during birth crowning. This may be encouraging and soothing since your baby’s small tuft of hair will not disappear from view, and “it can be useful for the mother to have a mirror brought in to observe as her baby crowns and/or to reach down and feel her baby’s head.”
Partners can help during this stage of labour by offering encouragement and support. Burns explains, “Pushing is a lot of labour. A cold drink should always be available for the mother to sip on after each push, as well as placing a cool towel on the mother’s neck.
Your role: Remain calm and pay attention to your physician or midwife
Image source: iStock
Be aware that the actual crowning experience you have may differ from what your mother, sisters, or friends have had. What will happen and how it will feel will vary from person to person, just like all other aspects of labour and delivery.
Having said that, if your doctor or midwife confirms that you are indeed crowning, don’t move too soon. In fact, you ought to make an effort to unwind and make your body as limp as possible.
You might have a tremendous want to push, so let’s get this show going! That undoubtedly seems ridiculous. However, make an effort to move slowly and give your uterus most of the credit.
Why? Because unwinding might stop serious tears.
Crowning occurs when your baby’s head remains still in the birth canal. Following contractions, it doesn’t fall back inside.
At this point, your doctor will assist in guiding the baby and coaching you through the pushing process to protect the skin between your vagina and rectum. You may have heard about perineum tears because this region is also known as the perineum.
After birth crowning
Image source: iStock
Lastly, your doctor or midwife can determine whether the umbilical cord is wrapped around your baby’s neck and if there are any other obstacles during delivery crowning. If your baby is trapped in the birth canal, your doctor may occasionally need to manually deliver him or her using forceps or another tool.
The remainder of your baby’s head will emerge after birth, then their body. Now when you’re in the third and last stage of labour, all that’s left for you to do is deliver the placenta.
If you have any doubts or concerns about what will happen during labour and delivery, do not hesitate to talk to your gynaecologist about it.
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