What you might see and hear

This section is for the Birth Partners … for those that might be with you so that they can understand what they might be hearing / seeing …

  • contraction pattern becomes increasingly stronger & powerful
  • eyes closed and doze between contractions – in their own world – may even cover their eyes or hide their head
  • Less able to respond to questions (DON”T ENGAGE THE NEO-CORTEX) –  Abrupt answers – Water!
  • Movements and sounds will be instinctive and rhythmical –  Vocalise during contractions – often the same noise with each one, and/or make the same movements each time.
  • Inhibitions are reduced. Naked – the hormonal symphony is in full swing
  • Baby moves down and pelvis becomes less stable (opening), posture changes.
  • Hold onto things (and people) when standing/walking.
  • Will not be able to sit directly on her bottom.
  • Walk leaning slightly with a ‘waddle’ as the pelvis tips.
  • Transition may see fear – give reassurance and support (some don’t)
  • Adrenaline during transition can cause a dry mouth and she might suddenly be very thirsty.  – High levels can also cause vomiting as the stomach empties in the fight or flight response.
  • Cervix opens to its full capacity you might see a bloody/mucous show and the waters break.
  • May be a ‘rest and be thankful’ phase after transition where contractions slow and the woman rests as the baby descends into her pelvis.
  • Pressure in her bottom, or that she needs to poo. May be poo as the baby compresses the rectum and squeezes it out.
  • Contractions become expulsive and pattern changes.
  • Noises and behaviour also change.
  • Visual signs of the baby’s head descending in her perineum – gaping anus and vulva, flattened perineum, bulging bag of waters (if still intact), the baby’s hair/head, etc.
  • As the baby’s head stretches her perineal tissue she will hold back her pushes, gasp, scream, close her legs, and/or hold her baby’s head in
  • Baby’s head is born you may see them rotate or wriggle then be born with the next contraction (there should be some movement or change with the next contraction). (Reed, R; 2017)

This is a gorgeous video of the baby being caught …