Until the time you are pregnant yourself, you might not give much thought to what your uterus is up to. Unless you have gone through period cramps, that is. Then, you might at least have an idea. However, for the most part of your life, your uterus will be there doing its own thing. But, this changes when you get pregnant. This is the time when your uterus will become the showstopper all of a sudden!
How The Uterus Grows During Pregnancy
The uterus grows drastically during pregnancy. Imagine blowing air into a balloon; this is how your uterus is growing in size when you are pregnant. When in the first trimester, your uterus is of the same size as that of a grapefruit. While it is growing out of the pelvis a lit bit, it still perfectly fits into that. That is why it is still very much hidden and only you can feel the effects of your baby growing within.
In the second trimester, the uterus size would have almost become equivalent to that of papaya. It will no longer fit into the pelvis, and thus, begins to push out of that area. It starts to show, announcing your good news to the whole wide world!
By the third trimester, the uterus would have grown to be the size of a watermelon. Truth be told, it will even make you wonder how this originally orange-sized organ can expand so much. By the time you are set for delivery, the uterus might be the largest organ in your body.
The Incredible Uterus
While you might be aware that the uterus has a role to play in your labor, you might not know how. During your gestation period, the safe haven for your little infant is provided by the uterus where he/she grows and develops. It is this very organ that brings about your tiny angel’s passage out of your body during labor.
There are three principle muscle layers of the uterine wall. The fibers of these muscles run obliquely, longitudinally, and circularly. The connective tissue of the blood vessels, collagen fibers, and elastic fibers wind around the muscle fibers. Every muscle layer has a different role to play. When a woman is pregnant, it is the inner horizontal layer that keeps the cervix closed. It makes sure that the baby is safe inside. And, when the time is right, the inner uterine layer relaxes for labor. The outer vertical uterine layer starts to contract, thus, opening up the cervix.
The outer muscle layer begins practicing the contraction during the time of pregnancy itself. Thus, it contracts and then relaxes each day to prepare itself for the D-day. Most soon-to-be mothers might feel these rehearsed contractions sometimes in the later stages of pregnancy.
What Happens During Labor?
The much-dreaded labor contractions one talks about refers to the uterine muscle’s tightening and relaxation in a periodic manner. They are defined as tightening sensations, which begin from the back and go over to the front. During labor, a woman experiences a series of contractions. In this process, the uterus’s upper part becomes tight and thick. Whereas, the cervix as well as its lower part stretch and relax. This process helps the baby to travel through the uterus and enter into the birth canal. Now, your baby will be all set for delivery.
Now you know the crucial role that the uterus plays in bringing about your labor. So, it is important that you do your bit to support your precious little organ during this process. One of the biggest things that you can do is choose wisely the people you want to experience this process with. And, also the hospital. You might not realize it but this can make a huge impact on how your childbirth unfolds. You can try and keep your muscles as relaxed as possible. Ensure that you breathe properly so that your muscle doesn’t face oxygen deprivation.
Your uterus is a super-incredible organ and can figure out what to do on its own. When you feel that sense of fear during your childbirth, remember that this organ is pretty powerful and will help you throughout. Good luck!