There are so many women who get pregnant and go into labor without understanding what is happening to their body and with their baby during the labor and delivery process.
My personal belief is that it is important to understand or have a little insight on the stages of labor because it helps mom be better prepared… it can assist mom in ways to cope with her contractions, if she has that understanding… and lastly, when doctors and nurses are talking about dilation and using different phrases, then mom and even her support person, can have a base-line understanding of what they are talking about.
So, let’s get started. (The 3rd stage is one that not many people are aware of).
The First Stage of Labor: Dilation
This is when mom’s cervix is dilating from one to ten centimeters. The first stage of labor varies for every woman and every pregnancy as mom could be dilated to 1-3 cm for a couple weeks’ time.
The Second Stage of Labor: Birth
This is exactly what the name of the stage is… this is when mom delivers her beautiful baby into the world. After mom has reached ten centimeters dilated from the first stage, then it is go time. Time to push that baby out.
Third Stage of Labor: Deliver the Placenta
I love this because, to be honest, I didn’t know I was going to have to do this with my first pregnancy. After my son was born and the doctor said I had to push again… I got confused and thought “there weren’t twins in there before.”
Yes, mom will have to push one more time to push out the placenta. Most of the time it is a much easier push (especially, if mom delayed cord clamping). Some women decide to keep their placenta and have a doula encapsulate it for them while others let the doctor take care of disposing of the placenta.
Fourth Stage of Labor: Recovery
This stage is to ensure mom is recovering well and stabilizing. Usually, this stage is about two hours long after baby and placenta are delivered.
There are a couple stages that actually have phases. I go more in depth with the phases in my Child Birth Course.
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Comment below with which Stage you were NOT aware of…