The birth of a first child generally lasts 8 to 12 hours, while the birth of subsequent children usually lasts for an average of seven hours. Only in extreme cases do expectant mothers remain in the Birth Room for over 24 hours, while the likelihood of a 2-hour birth is equally slim. The breathing and relaxation exercises learned during birth preparation courses make it easier for the expectant mother to cope with her contractions.
The opening phase lasts for 6 to 10 hours and is designed to open the uterine orifice, which widens slightly with every contraction. The attending midwife or doctor regularly monitors the opening of the uterine orifice, until it has reached a width of approximately 10 cm. Meanwhile, your contractions will increase in strength as the intervals between them diminish.
In the subsequent expulsion phase, your unborn child approaches the light of the world with every contraction. In this phase, your contractions are four times as strong as in the opening phase and are accompanied by an intense feeling of pressure. The child’s head is now pressing against your lower pelvis, your intestines and your vaginal opening, which feels as if it is going to tear under the intense pressure. At this juncture, your doctor may perform an episiotomy in order to prevent tearing and to facilitate the emergence of the child’s head. The head forces its way through the vaginal opening, followed by the shoulders, and then the rest of your child’s body slides out of the birth canal.
The midwife will lay your newborn baby on your belly, returning the child to the familiar contact with his or her mother. These first moments are for you and your baby alone. Nobody will disturb you, while everything around you is being taken care of. Medical specialists are at your side in case you require any assistance.
After the birth, you will remain in the Birth Room while a paediatrician examines your newborn child. After that, you can place your child at your breast for the first time. You will then be transferred to your room in the Maternity Ward, where you can enjoy the following days with the full support and care of our nursing staff.
In case something unexpected should occur during the birth, the Hirslanden clinics are, of course, fully equipped with all of the necessary medical apparatus you may require. You need not be concerned for your safety, or the safety of your child, at any time.