Stages of Labor

The labor is a process where various events occur by the time. If you are pregnant for the first time then you are about to get a unique experience. Events those occur during delivery are not similar to all, even not in a single woman for her second or third delivery. The whole process require hours, even days.

There are 3 stages of labor process-

First stage of labor

It starts from the true labor pain and lasts up to full dilatation of the cervix. This stage may lasts for 12 to 13 hours for the first baby and 7 to 8 hours for the second baby.

Here mainly 2 things occur- Effacement and Cervical dilation

When the fetus moves downwards it causes the softening, shortening and thinning of the cervical part of uterus thus become ready for delivery of the baby.

Cervical dilation:
At the time of delivery the opening of uterus named as cervix opens and becomes dilated. For a safe and easier vaginal delivery the cervix needs to be dilated about 10cm.

First stage of the labor has three phases-

Early labor

  • This phase lasts for 8 to 12 hours

  • Cervical dilatation occurs of about 4 cm

  • Cervical contractions occurs which lasts about 30 to 45 minutes with a 5 to 30 minutes of interval between contractions

  • The intensity and the frequency of pain both increases by the time

  • You may feel pain at back or pressure or tightness at pelvic area

  • The water may break at any time of this phase

  • If you want, can go to the nearby hospital for delivery

  • Just relax, drink water, pass your time with your near ones

Active labor phase

  • If you are at home yet it’s time to go to the hospital

  • This phase lasts for 3 to 5 hours

  • The cervical dilatation occurs from 4 to 7 cm

  • Contractions become stronger and longer

  • Contractions at this phase last for 45 to 60 minutes with a interval of 3 to 5 minutes

  • You can walk with wide base to

  • Your support person may massage your abdomen and back

Transition phase

  • This stage lasts for 30 min to 2 hours

  • Cervical dilation occurs from 8 cm to 10 cm

  • Contractions at this phase last for 60 to 90 seconds with a interval of 30 seconds to 2 minutes interval between contractions

  • The contractions become stronger, intense and may overlap

  • Keep yourself strong

  • The support person should be by your side accompanying you

Second stage of labor

  • Start after full dilation of cervix and lasts up to expulsion of the baby

  • This stage lasts for about 30 minutes to an hour

  • At this stage the head of the baby moves down from uterus to the birth canal or vagina

  • You should push downwards while the contractions appear

  • You may feel like you are defecating that is passing stool through the rectum and it is normal

  • If the position of the baby is normal, the head will come out first

  • Some may need an incision just side of the birth canal to assist the delivery

  • You should make yourself in a comfortable position

  • If the delivery time of the baby prolongs then it is called prolonged labor and you may be undergone to surgical delivery
  • In this stage the delivery of placenta and other membranes occurs

  • This stage lasts from 5 minutes to 30 minutes

  • The contractions are still present that help to expulsion of placenta

  • Your healthcare provider may give you some medications to increase the contractions

  • If the placenta is not expelled out within due time then manual removal is required

Third stage of labor

With these 3 stages of labor your baby is delivered.



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