Baby Crowning - Everything You Need To Know

baby crowning everything you need to know

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Childbirth is one of the most phenomenal processes of nature. A woman’s body starts preparing itself for the birth-giving process weeks before going into the labor.

Just like how a baby develops inside mother’s womb in different stages, there are different stages of childbirth too! The first stage is the one with contractions. This is generally the shortest yet the most intensely painful stage. It is followed by pushing and then crowning during delivery.

A lot of expectant mothers go into labor without knowing much about the actual process. As a result, they are often in for surprises and mostly unwelcome ones. This article would cover mostly everything you need to know about baby crowning during birth.

What Is Baby Crowning?

Once you go into labor, you soon arrive at the pushing stage. This is where your baby is pushed to finish the descent through the pelvis. After this, your baby enters the birth canal.

  • During this pushing and delivery, your baby’s head will slowly begin to
    show right at the vaginal opening. With each contraction, it will be visible more and more.
  • When your baby’s head is visible without slipping back inside, it is known as crowning.
  • A woman’s cervix must be dilated around 10 centimeters and effaced to almost 100 percent before crowning of baby starts.

[ Read: Exercise To Induce Labor ]

What It Feels Like?

You must have heard a lot of things about the crowning phase, many of which might have scared you. So here, we tell a little more about the baby crowning phase, so that you can prepare yourself and know what to expect.

  • When your baby’s head crowns, you will experience a burning sensation. This stinging sensation is commonly described as ‘the ring of fire’.
  • This happens as your baby stretches the vaginal opening. But again, this lasts only for a short period of time, and is followed by a numb feeling.
  • This numbness is because the vaginal tissues get so thin due to stretching, that the nerves get blocked.
  • You may say the stretching process acts as a natural anesthetic.

When And When Not To Push?

It is mostly advised to stop pushing when you feel the stinging sensation at crowning stage. Your body and mind would urge you to push more and more. But restrain yourself from doing it.

  • Push only when your doctor advises you to. This is to avoid tearing the vaginal opening much.
  • You may also be advised to change positions while pushing at this stage. This too is to avoid too much vaginal tearing.

[ Read: Pregnancy Exercises For Normal Delivery ]

How Long Does Crowning Last?

If you are delivering a baby for the first time, the crowning stage may last for hours. However, if this is your second delivery, you will find it much easier to pass through this phase.

  • Once you pass through the baby crowning stage, be happy! You can be elated at the fact that you are almost nearing the end of your delivery.
  • For the women opting for epidural, this stage may not even come.

Preventing Tearing:

A mirror is widely used to avoid tearing at baby crowning stage. You will be encouraged to see your baby’s tuft of head visible at your vaginal opening. Doctors even make moms reach down and feel her baby’s head. This allows a sheer sense of comfort.

Perineal Massage:

A lot of doctors and experts recommend Perineal Massage, to prevent tearing at the baby crowning stage. Perineal massage should be done for at least 10 minutes every day, commencing on the 35th week of pregnancy. This helps prevent tearing and also reduces the burning sensation.

What Next?

Once baby crowning stage is over, your doctor will be able to judge whether there are any impediment in the birth canal or not. He may need to use appropriate forceps to manually help your baby through the birth canal. This is only if your baby is stuck somewhere in the birth canal.

A lot of times, the umbilical cord gets wrapped around baby’s neck. This prevents babies from coming out. Under such circumstances, doctors use suitable assistance to ease out delivery.

It is always a good idea to be aware. Make sure you speak to your physician, doctor or midwife before going into labor. Knowing what to expect in the labor room helps you mentally prepare yourself.

If you have already experienced this phase, tell us what helped you prepare and pass through the baby crowning stage.

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