Intermittent nipple stimulation may also be suggested. The woman may be instructed to stimulate one breast, through her clothes, for a couple of minutes.
To jumpstart labor and natural vaginal birth, membrane stripping may also be done. During internal examination, the health care provider inserts a finger into the open cervix and gently uses the finger to gently separate the bag of water from the side of the uterus near the cervix.
It is easily done in the office or in the labor room during a regular pelvic exam.
When the woman is in the active phase of labor—that is when the cervix is dilated to 6 cm or more—the bag of waters or amniotic membrane may be ruptured. Amniotomy, or artificial rupture of membrane, is known as “breaking the water”.
It induces or augments the labor process. This is done by a skilled healthcare provider who already weighed the pros and cons doing the amniotomy.
Natural vaginal birth or childbirth, in general, however fulfilling, is a painful experience for women. When the cervix is fully dilated and the mother is bearing down, positive reassurance and coaching helps in this vital stage.
Pain threshold is different from one woman to another. But for the majority, pain associated with labor and delivery scores high in the scale. After the baby is delivered, there may be lacerations around the vagina and vulvar area (external part of the female genitalia).
If there is not much bleeding, pressure may be applied on the area temporarily. If there is considerable bleeding from the site, repair will be done. At this point, the woman will be offered local anesthesia to numb the area for repair.
Otherwise, it will be excruciatingly painful to suture without any pain medication as every passage of the needle may feel like a lancet piercing through the tissue.