The Delivery in Periods
To facilite understanding, let’s divide childbirth in periods.
The first period of labor is dilation. The baby is stuck and it is subjected to uterine contractions that start slowly, and progressively increase intensity and frequency. This period, didatically, goes from the first contractions, with the expulsion of the mucous tampon, to the total opening of the uterine cervix.
The second period is that of the expulsion. The spontaneous contractions are stronger now, and, with the active participation of the mother, the baby goes down the birth canal until it arrives on this Earth.
The third period is when the placenta comes out. The baby is already born, the placenta must go out.
The last period goes from the placenta expulsion to the stabilization of the mother’s condition, in the post-partum.
“Officially” there are four periods of labor. But there is one more, at the moment of the birth, before the placenta comes out.
Biologically it is the moment in which the link between mother and child is formed and involves whoever is presente at birth.