Pregnancy usually lasts from 37 to 42 weeks. In most cases, childbirth begins by itself during these weeks with contractions or water breaking. If necessary, the delivery can be induced medically.
All childbirths in the Hospital District have been centralized in the Turku University Hospital.
Childbirth can be divided into three phases, which are
- the dilation phase
- the expulsion phase
- the postnatal phase
Delivery is usually automatic and there's no need to intervene. During delivery the conditions of both the mother and the infant are monitored closely in order to detect possible problems well in advance. Common vaginal births are tended to by midwives.
Pain relief methods in vaginal births include nitrous oxide, anaesthesia, acupuncture and acupressure.
The infant gets to be in skin-to-skin contact with the mother immediately after he/she is born, and he/she is administered vitamin K in order to prevent haemorrhage. The support person can cut the umbilical cord.
After placental expulsion the mother's possible wounds are sutured, uterine haemorrhage and contractions are monitored and the family is supported in successful first breastfeed. Approximately two hours are spent in the delivery room after delivery. The mother is transferred to the family and neonatal ward after the baby has been measured.
At the ward, we help in beginning breastfeeding and guide the parents in taking care of the infant. The mother and the infant are not separated unnecessarily, but they are treated together by rooming in.
A paediatrician checks on the infant at least once before the discharge. Women who have given birth usually stay a few days in the ward before discharge. Clinical childbirth (discharge within 24 hours of delivery) is also possible, subject to certain criteria.
If the infant is admitted to a paediatric ward for treatment or monitoring, the mother can visit to nurse him/her from the maternity ward. If the infant is back rooming in with the mother, they can be discharged together. If the infant needs to stay in the paediatric ward for a longer period of time, the mother is discharged according to her own condition.
Onset of Childbirth