( By Dr Tejinder Singh )

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Safe delivery is the culmination of pregnancy and a slightest mistake at this time can ruin a life. The duration of a normal pregnancy is between 37-41 weeks (calculated from first day of the last menstrual period). As far as possible delivery should be conducted by the same health worker who has been following the mother during pregnancy. This is specifically important if the outcome of the previous pregnancy has been unsatisfactory, the mother has developed high blood pressure, there are twin babies or some operative intervention is required. There are certain danger signals near the time of delivery and you should be aware of them. If anyone of is present, the health worker should immediately be contacted. These include: -

  • sudden decrease or increase in the movements of the baby
  • onset of labor pains before ninth month
  • bleeding
  • rupture of "bag of water" for more than 24 hours.

A normal delivery consists of 3 stages. In the first stage, which lasts about 8-16 hours in the first pregnancy, there is a progressive increase in labor pains. During the 2nd there is delivery of the baby while during the 3rd stage there is expulsion of the placenta.

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