The First Stage of Labor
By the time you get to the end of the first stage of labor, you will be at 10 centimeters and ready to push your baby into this world. The first stage of labor is broken up into three different sections: Early Labor, Active Labor and Transitional Labor.
Early labor is defined as the time period in which the cervix takes to dilate between 0 and 4 centimeters. This usually occurs in a time frame of between 4 to 24 hours but can extend over a longer period of time.
The contractions that you feel during this time are mild or moderate and last between 30 to 45 seconds and may be regular or irregular and between 5 to 20 minutes apart.
Tips for Early Labor:
Signs of Early Labor:
Coping with Early Labor:
How to Time a Contraction
What you will need: A watch with a second hand Pad of paper Writing instrument Time between the contractions is measured from the beginning of one contraction to the beginning of the next contraction. Length of contraction is timed from the time you feel the contraction starting until the time you feel it finish.
You are in active labor while you cervix is dilating from 4 to 8 centimeters. This stage of labor usually lasts from between 2 to 3 1/2 hours.
Indications of Active Labor:
As contraction become more difficult to deal with, you will probably become less aware of your surroundings and retreat with in yourself to deal with the contractions. You will probably end up talking less during this stage.
As labor progresses, your membranes may rupture and with this there is usually a gush of fluid. After the membranes break, your contractions will usually speed up and increase in intensity after this point.
Tips for Active Labor
You are technically in transitional labor while your cervix dilates from 8 to 10 centimeters. Your contractions will be VERY strong at the point and will be 60 to 90 seconds long and will be 2 to 3 minutes apart.
Signs of Transitional Labor:
Hang in there! Your baby is almost here!
Unfortunately, we will be unable to answer medical related questions.
If you have a concern about your condition, please contact your doctor.
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