Labor & Birth
Labor can begin with either contractions or spontaneous rupture of membranes (only 20% of the time). Women usually call me whenever either of the two occurs. If labor is early, we stay in telephone contact on a regular basis until contractions are stronger. Sometimes, with a fast labor, I have to grab my bags and run!
I am usually at the birth when a woman is between two and five centimeters dilated. I monitor maternal vital signs, as well as the heart tones of the fetus. I encourage women to stay hydrated, to urinate on a regular basis, and to move and find positions that will make them as comfortable as possible, yet facilitate progression of the labor. Fathers are encouraged to find the roles that best suits them. Some men are actively involved in labor coaching and "catching" the babies; others prefer get help for the women with a doula. Parents can also decide whether or not to have other children present.
When the babies are born, they are given APGAR scores at one and five minutes to assess their well-being. The babies are given immediately to the mothers who are free to initiate breastfeeding if they so choose. I attend to the extraction of the placenta, all the while monitoring the mother's condition. I perform an initial newborn exam after the first hour of the birth, checking the baby's vitals, gestational signposts, and measuring and weighing the baby. After several hours when both the mother and the baby are stable, I leave.
- Call Diane at the onset of labor
- Phone contact may suffice until contractions are stronger
- Diane is at the birth between 2 cm and 5 cm dilation
- Monitoring begins
- After the birth, babies are assessed for well-being
- After several hours and all are deemed healthy, Diane leaves