Childbirth Animation

During childbirth the baby lies in the mother's uterus with his head pointing down toward the cervix. The first stages of labor begin with short, regular contractions of the uterus, every few minutes, which continue until the mother's cervix is fully dilated. In the second stage of labor the contractions become more forceful, more frequent, and more painful. As the baby's head starts to move down the vagina the amniotic sac breaks and fluid is released. The top of the head appears at the entrance of the vagina and finally bulges out. This is the crowning of the head. The contractions which follow push the baby even farther down so that the head is delivered. The baby's eyes immediately begin to blink and the mouth makes sucking movements. The baby usually emerges facing the mother's back, so that the head passes through the widest possible opening in the pelvic girdle. The head then turns, so that the upper and then the lower shoulder follows. There is a final contraction and baby slips out, still attached to the umbilical cord. The cord is then tied and cut---a painless operation because the cord is nerveless. The third stage of labor, in which the placenta, or afterbirth, is delivered, is usually complete about fifteen minutes after the birth.

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