Miscarriage affects 20 percent of all pregnancies. Although common, miscarriage can be a heartbreaking event for expectant couples, often requiring a lengthy emotional recovery and concern about potential risks and causes of future miscarriages.
We offer physical and emotional support should you suffer this early-pregnancy complication. Both surgical and conservative management are provided, along with diagnostic tests if you experience more than one miscarriage.
From the onset of labor until the successful delivery of your precious newborn, we provide attentive care by referring you to one of two respected labor and delivery units in southwest Fort Worth.
Stages of Labor and Delivery
The process of labor and delivery occurs in three stages beginning with the onset of labor. Depending on their preference or birth plan, some women may choose to experience the first phase of labor at home and as it progresses to active labor, they may choose to go to a hospital or medical facility. In a hospital setting, the heart rate and vital statistics of both mother and unborn baby are monitored during the labor process. The health and safety of the mother and unborn baby should always be considered first when planning for labor and delivery.
The first stage of labor occurs in two phases: early labor and active labor. Early labor begins when the baby has moved down into the birth canal and the cervix begins to dilate. Mild contractions occur and a brown or red discharge may indicate that the mucus plug has been shed from the cervical opening. This phase may last from 6 to 12 hours but may occur more rapidly in women who have given birth before. Contractions become more frequent and much more intense during active labor and the cervix continues to dilate. An epidural may be administered for pain. The membranes around the amniotic sac may rupture (water breaks). Active labor may last up to 8 hours.
The second stage of labor occurs when the cervix has fully dilated and the mother is ready to push the baby out of the birth canal and deliver the baby. When the top of the baby's head fully appears (crowns), the doctor or midwife will advise the mother to push and will help deliver the baby. If necessary, the doctor may make a small incision to the enlarge the vaginal opening (episiotomy) to help the baby fit through the birth canal. After the baby is delivered, the umbilical cord is cut.
The third stage of labor is the delivery of the afterbirth (placenta). This stage may last from 5 to 30 minutes. After the baby is delivered, contractions will continue and the mother may experience chills or shakiness. Usually, the woman will push one more time and the placenta is expelled from the uterus. If an episiotomy was performed it is stitched at this time. Labor is over once the placenta has been delivered.
Childbirth can be a different experience for each woman and the methods used to relieve pain can vary based on the health and safety of the mother and child, as well as the recommendations from her doctor.
Preterm (premature) labor is a condition that occurs when a woman's body starts preparing itself to give birth too early in a pregnancy. Normal pregnancies typically last 40 weeks. In cases of preterm labor, however, a woman begins experiencing regular contractions that prepare the cervix for labor between the 20th and 37th weeks of pregnancy.
Preterm labor often results in premature birth, which increases a child's risk of birth defects, as well as cognitive and medical issues in the future. Because of the potential of serious health problems for the child that may be associated with a preterm delivery, an attempt is made to delay preterm labor for as long as possible. Preterm labor may be a direct result of an issue with the baby, the mother or, in some cases, both. However, the exact cause of preterm labor cannot always be identified.
We do everything possible to prevent your little one from arriving too early. For extreme prematurity, we will refer you to a high-risk specialist.
Nearly all multiple pregnancies are detected, using ultrasound technology, during the first trimester. A multiple pregnancy can pose a number of serious health risks and complications for both the mother and fetuses. One of the biggest concerns is premature birth, which increases the risk of birth defects, and future cognitive or medical issues. Because of the potential health issues associated with multiple pregnancy, it is always considered high risk, and requires proper prenatal care and close monitoring.
We offer prenatal care for women with twins and also guide them through any complications that might be associated with their twin pregnancies. Both vaginal and cesarean births are provided.