The delivery

How does the process work and what can you expect?
This page gives you insight into the process of delivery. What can you expect during the different phases, what happens to your body and how you can deal with it?

The delivery

How does the process work and what can you expect?
This page gives you insight into the process of delivery. What can you expect during the different phases, what happens to your body and how you can deal with it?

The first signs

If you are in the last months of your pregnancy, you may have already felt it. Your uterus sometimes contracts. The further you are, the more it can happen. It is due to hormones and is called “hard stomach”. It can be an annoying feeling. But most women don’t even feel it. The contractions are not (pre) contractions and they do not announce your birth yet. We often call it “rommelen” (Messing around), which means that the body is preparing itself. Later you will notice that the contractions of the birth really feel different.


hand op pasgeboren baby die op buik moeder ligt

Pre-contractions and contractions
Usually the birth starts with contractions. Sometimes those contractions hurt immediately and they soon follow each other. But usually they are still short, irregular and not so painful in the beginning. You can often continue with what you are doing. These “pre-labor pains” make the cervix more flexible.

Internal examination
To see if your birth has really started, we observe your contractions and examin the cervix with an internal examination. This way we get a good impression about the phase you are in of your delivery. In the early phase of you delivery, it is sometimes difficult to determine whether childbirth has really started. No problem: a few hours later you know for sure! The birth can also announce itself with the breaking of the membranes. Even then strong contractions are needed to open the cervix. They usually start within 24 hours after breaking the membranes.



From 0 – to 10 cm

The cervix is more stiff during the delivery of your first child and therefore opens less easily compared to the birth of your second child. The contractions make the cervix more flexible and thinner. The speed of this process depends, among other things, on the contractions. If the constractions are stronger and come more often, the delivery usually goes faster. The first centimeters of the dilation usually go slower than the last bit. At 10 centimeters you have complete dilation after which you can start pushing.

Pain during childbirth

Your body usually responds to pain during childbirth by producing pain killers (endorphins). This way you feel less pain. Anxiety or tension hinders the production of endorphins. For this reason, it is important to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible during childbirth. There are various ways to deal with pain during delivery. What works for one person may not work for the other. This is different for everyone.

Different methods
There are different methods of pain treatment. With and without medication. We will discuss this further at our information briefing. Here you can find more information online about this subject.

Breaking your membranes

In contact with the world outside
The membranes usually break after a longer period of contractions. This is a good thing, because the membranes and amniotic fluid protect the baby. Moreover, they help to open your cervix through the pressure they give. When the membranes didn’t open naturally, we sometimes break them at the end of dilatation. We can also do this earlier, if the contractions are weakening or if your dilatation is insufficient. This does not hurt, you only feel the flow of warm water running. After this, your body still makes new amniotic fluid, so your child will never get dry.

No bathing 
When your membranes are broken and you have no strong contraction yet, you are not allowed to take a bath because of the risk of infection. This because the open connection between the baby and the outside world. Your temperature is measured after breaking the membranes to quickly detect any infection.

Contractions and the birth

The pushing stage occurs after the cervix is completely dilated and no longer in front of the baby’s head. The head has fallen down through the opening of your cervix. At the peak your contraction are usually strong and forceful and you feel the urge to press. This is a starting the urge to press. You can’t stop it. It indicates the closeness of your baby’s birth.

The end is near. Good contractions will help you a lot. You can now start to press in an active manner. When you feel the contraction, you need to push with all your power towards your vagina and anus, as if you need to poop. In the beginning you don’t always exactly know the direction of your push. When the head falls deeper, it becomes clear how you can use your contraction to push.

The last phase
When the head almost comes out, you feel it stretch out at the bottom between your vagina and anus. That can be a painful, burning sensation. A cold or warm washcloth against your pelvic floor helps. We will indicate what you can do to prevent you from registering. When the head is outside your body, we guide your child further outside. Sometimes you can and may handle your baby yourself. You then usually no longer have to press hard, the body follows. The baby is placed on your (preferably bare) belly.

Cutting the umbilical cord

When the baby’s heartbeat can no longer be felt in the umbilical cord, it can be cut.

First time breastfeeding and the birth of the placenta
If you want to breastfeed, the baby is already placed on your breast. This is a natural way to make your uterus contract so that the placenta loosens easier and can be born. It also helps to limit further blood loss.

The placenta

Your stomach will relax again, because you no longer feel the contractions. The uterus does contract to loosen the placenta and to prevent you from losing a lot of blood. We sometimes keep the umbilical under pressure to check if the placenta has loosened. If this is the case, we ask you to push along while sometimes giving some pressure on your stomach. 

A weird feeling
The placenta, the umbilical cord and the membranes usually come out. That is a bit of a strange feeling but it doesn’t really hurt. The uterus contracts and feels like a hard ball under the navel. If the placenta does not come out within an hour, it must be removed in the hospital under general anesthesia.


Are you pregnant or do you want to become pregnant? Welcome!



COURSE – Refresher course ‘Childbirth’

Dates: the 2th and 4th of March 2020This course will be given two times for two hours during your maternity leave.You may have given birth before, but it's still nice to go through the information again. We go through the all steps like contractions etc. How does...

COURSE – ‘Fiere compact’

Dates: 4 and 6 May 2020A crash course of two times two hours for the pregnant ladies, during their maternity leave. Is this your first pregnancy and you didn't have time to follow a course before? With this course you will be given all necessary information on a short...

INFORMATION EVENING – ‘Going into labor’

How do I recognize early signs and symptoms of labor and when should I call? It's all pretty exciting. We give you this evening information about how, what and when concerning childbirth. This evening gives you information about the last phase of the pregnancy. It is...

Personal: a safe feeling

We see pregnancy and giving birth as a natural process. We want to guide you in this in a personal and professional manner. Our goal is that you and your partner look back with pride and content on this special time in your life at the end of this period. We want to meet your wishes in healthcare as much as possible. Safety for mother and child is very important to us.

Why Fiere?!

  • Close team of four experienced midwives
  • Daily (evening) office hours at various locations
  • Care that suits you
  • Fiere! information & courses in our own practice
  • High quality echoes at our own echo center Vita, also 3D
  • Member of the Martini Birth Group