“There labor room it is the place where expectant mothers stop when they enter the active phase of labor, that is, when they have regular and active contractions and a 3 centimeter dilation of the flattened central neck »explains Anna Sebastiani, midwife of the Mammamondo association in Milan.
This means that «the contractions are the same and the apex lasts between 40 and 60 seconds. Between one and the other, there is generally a 3-minute break and then we start again with the next contraction “
Depending on the hospitals, labor room and delivery room coincide. “However, there are some structures in which the mother, when she has reached 10 centimeters of dilation, is moved to another room, called the delivery room, for the expulsive phase”.
The length of stay in labor room depends on various factors, one of them being the type of pregnancy. “In the case of a first child, the dilation is about 1 centimeter per hour. It starts from 3-4 centimeters and reaches 10. You can get to stay in the labor room for about 6-7 hours. The expulsive phase, on the other hand, lasts about an hour and a half ». If it is a second or third child, however, «the dilation is about 2 centimeters per hour, so the duration is halved. In this case, the expulsive phase lasts about 40 minutes ».
However, these are generic indications: “Each birth is unique and everything is always very subjective”.
The moment of labor it is generally «reserved: we try to make it live for the couple, without too many disturbances. In this phase, the midwife comes and goes, gives suggestions to the couple to help the woman manage the pain; in the expulsive phase, on the other hand, the midwife is present more assiduously. There is no interference, however, in the two hours after the birth, which are reserved for the intimacy of the new family “.
Nowadays, in most hospitals, “babies are placed on the mother’s belly with a blanket and a hat as soon as they are born, this favors the relationship between them”.
«Much depends on the structure chosen, but the trend in recent years is to make the labor room a very welcoming place which, in some cases, also has an en-suite bathroom. We try to make it a comfortable environment, with soft and delicate colors, which makes future parents feel at home. We modulate the lights, we allow the use of essential oils, massage oils and music; mothers can then use the tools that the hospital itself usually provides: balls, mats, hot water bottles. Some we send in the shower to relax and feel less pain. In some labor rooms there is also a bath for the birth in water ».
In the labor room it is good to have «comfortable clothing, better a shirt with buttons in front, which reaches above the knee, to facilitate skin-to-skin contact with the baby when it is born. But an old T-shirt is also fine, maybe from dad. We must consider that the chosen garment can get dirty, so it is better not to bring something you are fond of – continues the expert -. For the child we must remember the hat and the blanket to be used in the moment of skin-skin contact ».