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What are the stages of labour?

There are three stages for labour
First Stage of labour
It begins with the beginning of contractions which cause progressive changes in the cervix and ends when cervix is fully dilated. It is divided into the following phases
  • Early Labour Phase
  • Active Labour Phase
  • Transition phase
Early Labour (8-12 hours)
  • Once the abdominal contractions become relatively regular and cervix begins to dilate, patient is officially in early labor.
  • Contractions that last about 30-45 seconds and give about 5-30 minutes of rest in between contractions  
  • Contractions may be felt as aching in the lower back, menstrual cramps, and pressure on pelvis area
  • It is associated with an increase in mucusy vaginal discharge, which may be stained  with blood, the so called “Bloody show”
  • At this stage it is possible for your water to break (amniotic sac rupture)
  • Early labour ends when the cervix about 4cm dilated
Active Labour (4 to 8 hours)
  • In this phase contractions are more frequent, longer, and strong. 
  • Cervix dilates from 4 to 10 cm 
  • At the end of this stage the baby begins to descend, or it will start to drop
  • contractions will last for about 60 seconds, every 5 min, for an hour, when this happens its time to call the midwife or doctor
Transition (few min, to a few hours)
  • It is the last part of active labour, when your cervix dilates from 8 to a full 10 centimeters
  • Contractions are usually very strong, coming every two and a half to three minutes or so and lasting a minute or more making the patient to start shaking and shivering.
Second stage of labour
  • This stage continues after the cervix is dilated to 10 cm until the delivery of the baby, sometimes also called as the “pushing stage”
  • This is called so because the cervix has been fully dilated, and its time to push
  • It may lasts from 20 min -2 hours
  • Contractions will last 45-90sec with a 3-5 minute rest period
  • The baby is very low in the  pelvis so patient will feel pressure on her rectum 
  • Baby begins to descend with the force of each contraction of uterus, and with the abdominal muscles helps move the baby through the birth canal. though all the effort body is putting into the birthing process, only half is being exerted. 
  • Once the uterus is relaxed, the baby’s body moves in a 2 step forward one step back kind of process
Third Stage of labour
  • It is the delivery of the placenta
  • Third Stage last for  (5-10 min)
  • After giving birth uterus begins to contract 
  • These first contractions separate the placenta from uterine wall