Stages of Labor: What to Expect During Childbirth

stages of labor

Are you anticipating a child? Childbirth is one of the most unforgettable experiences a woman can have. When you experience it for the first time, you do worry about the pain, bleeding, and what you should expect. The most common question that mothers often ask is the stages of labor.

Labor happens until the baby is delivered into the mother’s hands and is the fastest process in a woman’s life. Go through this guide to know the stages of labor and how to prepare for childbirth.

Early Labor

Early labor, the first stage in childbirth, typically begins when a pregnant woman begins to experience regular and painful contractions around 6-10 centimeters apart. During this stage, the uterus and cervix will prepare for delivery, progressing toward full dilatation.

Common signs of early labor are period-like cramps or tightening in the abdomen; lower backache; feelings of pressure on the pelvis; menstrual-like cramps in the lower abdomen; diarrhea; bloody or mucus-like vaginal discharge; and a sense of uneasiness or intense energy.

Women should rest when possible and begin to focus on breathing, relaxation, and visualization techniques during contractions to manage childbirth pain. A birth partner should also help keep the mother focused and supported. 

Active Labor

Active labor is the part of labor that typically ensues after cervix dilation to at least 4 cm and is when the most dramatic changes occur. As contractions become more intense and frequent, typically 1-3 minutes apart and lasting between 30-60 seconds, the woman may feel more intense lower back, abdomen, and/or thigh pressure. This can be difficult to manage.

To help cope, the woman can continue to breathe naturally and use massage and relaxation techniques such as visualization and breathing exercises. She can also go through Perineoplasty surgery to reduce discomfort and risks during childbirth.

During active labor, the cervix dilates to 10 cm, usually lasting an average 8 hours or so. After this point, the transition and the second stage of labor will begin.

Read Also: A Natural Way: An Introduction To Water Birth And Water Birth Centers

Pushing and Birth

The last stage of labor is pushing and birth. While pushing, the mother should remain focused and try her best to relax through the contractions. It is important to listen to the doctor’s guidance regarding when to push and when to rest.

This can be done by watching for the start and end of each contraction and pushing for just 10 seconds each time with each contraction. Once the baby’s head is visible, the mother may be asked to pause pushing and allow the baby’s head to crown.

It should take a few more contractions to complete the birth. It is possible that the umbilical cord may be wrapped around the baby’s neck, and the doctor or midwife will carefully unwrap it. After the baby is fully out of the mother’s body, the mother’s body will go through a few more contractions, known as the delivery of the afterbirth.

Explore The Stages of Labor

The stages of labor are a complex and important part of life that every expectant new parent should learn about. With knowledge and preparation, parents can ensure that their labor and delivery are as safe, smooth, and successful as possible.

Understanding the labor process can help to reduce fear and anxiety about giving birth. 

Visit our blog for more!

Read Also: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Surgeon for Your Mommy Makeover Near Me

Leave a Comment