If there is enough time from the beginning, the woman will be able to experience a birth triggered by the body's own hormonal system. Being hospitalized too early often leads to medical interventions. A change or obstruction of a normal, uncomplicated birth must then be expected.
That the pregnancy is coming to an end announces itself slowly for many women. For example, they already feel at home, in their own four walls, that their child is getting ready to come into the world. This preparation, when the birth gradually begins, has its own name: Latency Phase (7.11, 7.12, 7.16, 7.18, 7.2.5, ) (16).
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Mother and baby are in the middle of a process that begins very gently. It is crucial that the baby signals its maturity, regardless of a calculated day. The calculated due date, which is noted in your maternity record, can be extended to 14 days before or after that date
or more. This varies from individual to individual.
The latency phase is the "period from the onset of labor to a cervical opening of 4-6 cm". The guideline addresses the latency period because too many women leave for the clinic too early. They are worried. They hope for orientation and security through the admission.
It is important that the hormones that trigger labor can develop on their own. This happens most undisturbed and natural in a familiar, stress-free environment. For many women, this is their own home.
Especially with the first child, it can still take hours or days before it "really" starts ... In the clinic, time pressure, impatience and a foreign environment can make labor more difficult or stop it.
Why is this so?
For our protection, our autonomous (involuntary) nervous system reacts with warning signals to everything that is not familiar. "Am I safe here, where everything is strange and new?", the nervous system also asks in other cases when you go somewhere, to a new workplace, an unfamiliar vacation spot, or to an event where you don't know anyone ...
Very few people are familiar with the impressions of a clinic. The corridors, the smells, sounds, signs and directional signs, neon lights, strange people, technical equipment ... . Our body reacts unconsciously to a foreign environment, past the mind.
Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for the hormones that are helpful for the birth to set in. If the onset of labor in the clinic drags on, it may also be suggested that you go home again. If so, consider whether that feels right for you. If you want to stay in the clinic, you may still become pressed for time.
Here, preterm labor is already interpreted as labor pains, and is therefore considered too weak. The most common reason why labor medications are administered is what is known as "labor weakness." A woman who has arrived too early may be told in the evening, "If nothing happens by morning, we will have to induce." Often, drugs are then given to induce labor or to strengthen contractions that are too weak. This causes the uterus to contract in an unnatural cramping manner.
Many women find this pain difficult to bear. That is why painkillers are then offered again. From now on, the fine hormonal interplay between mother and child is overridden: medication rules, monitored by technology. This is often followed by the administration of an epidural (epidural anesthesia).
(16) These numbers refer to the location in the abbreviated version of the guideline "Vaginal Birth at Term."