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The stages of childbirth

The stages of childbirth – from the initial contraction up to the final push – represent the transition between your life before and your life after. As every labor is unique for every woman and for every pregnancy, it is very important to know the general progression from the labor to your baby’s birth and to the delivery of the placenta. Knowing the three stages will prepare you not only for how long each stage occurs, but also how to cope up with these pains.

Changes in your uterus and cervix

The stages of childbirth are based on the changes in your uterus and cervix. During early labor, you will feel mild to moderately strong contractions that can last for hours of even days. When your contractions become stronger and progressively longer, you are entering the active labor phase. On average, this stage lasts three to eight hours, with increasing pressure on the back, and pain intensifying. But the most painful part of the first stage is the transition. During transition, your cervix dilates from seven to ten centimeters, and this is often the shortest but most difficult phase of labor.

The final descent

Once your cervix is dilated enough, the final descent and birth of your baby begins. This is where you start to push together with your contractions that unlike in the former stage, have longer intervals in between. The intervals give you rest that makes your second stage, which can last from a few minutes to several hours, easier to handle.

Your uterus will begin to contract

Minutes after giving birth, your uterus will begin to contract and with a little push that is neither difficult nor painful, you will finally reach the last stage of childbirth – the delivery of the placenta.

The whole experience is undeniably an arduous struggle for you, but after getting your energy back and seeing your baby, you can’t help but revel in the miracle of birth and realize that all your labor pains are worth it.

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